Vodafone, the country's second-largest mobile operator, has posted a 2.3% year-on-year growth in its organic service revenues in the third quarter. It said that the quarterly growth rate slowed down due to further competitive pressure, which impacted both voice and data prices and data customer growth. The company’s organic service revenue had increased 5.6% in the second quarter.
The unlisted Indian unit of Vodafone Group reported revenues of GBP1.103 billion for the quarter ended December, against GBP1.098 billion a year ago. The telco said that it continued to grow its total customer base, driven by a particularly strong performance in voice, adding 5.4 million customers in the quarter, as compared to 2.8 million customer addition in the second quarter.
“While total voice traffic continues to grow, this was more than offset by a further decline in voice revenue per minute, which fell 9.8% year-on-year as a result of ongoing price competition,” the company said.
Data growth remained strong for Vodafone India, with data usage increasing 64%, supported by an increasing proportion of 3G users, now totaling 25.9 million.
However, the rate of revenue growth slowed in the quarter driven by increased price competition, which resulted in lower unitary prices, down 16% year-on-year, driven by increased bundle adoption which led to a reduction in data revenue growth. The telco added 7,600 3G sites in the quarter, taking its population coverage in targeted urban areas to 94%. “Progress on Project Spring remains strong having already achieved our original site build out plans,” it said.
During the quarter, Vodafone also launched 4G services in two key circles and remain on track to expand this to five circles by the end of this financial year, covering around 45% of current data revenue. The telco’s M-Pesa service continues to expand, with 962,000 active customers and 102,000 agents in the quarter.