The country’s second largest mobile operator by revenues and subscriber base, Vodafone India on Tuesday posted a higher service revenue — up 11.2% to Rs 22,902 crore — for the first half of the ongoing fiscal, driven by customer additions and robust growth in data.
“We continue to deliver healthy double-digit underlying revenue growth… Driven by the strong uptake
in data, our 3G revenues grew 102% year-on-year,” Vodafone India managing director and CEO Sunil Sood said.
During the period, the company’s cash flows jumped to Rs 2,922 crore from Rs8,30 crore in the same period last year.
The operating cash flows were boosted by an expansion in its margins on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, which came in at 29.7%, led by higher data revenue and scale benefits, it said. Data revenue surged by 55.9% at Rs3,979 crore.
Mobile operators have been seeing a surge in their data revenue for the last several quarters as consumers are talking less and using more of data services.
As a result, the average realisation per user for data is increasing across operators.
Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest operator last month reported a 10.1% increase in net profits for the July-September quarter to Rs1523 crore as compared to a year earlier, on the back of growth in data traffic.
Its data Arpu increased by Rs 42 to Rs 193 (year-on-year) in the reported quarter, led by 35.9% increase in data usage per customer. Its consolidated mobile data revenues grew 49.8% to Rs 3,806 crore, boosted by data traffic growth of 76.3%.
Idea Cellular, the third largest operator, reported a 7% increase in net profits Rs809.3 crore, and a 14.7% increase in sales to Rs 8689.1 crore, helped by a higher data usage by its users.
While data usage and Arpu is increasing, the same is not the case with the average realisations made by the operators on the data front.
Bharti, Vodafone and Idea’s average realisation per megabit of data has fallen sharply by 5.6%, 12.1% and 11.7%, respectively, during the period.
This means that the operators have been offering more data at lesser price indicating a evolving price-war for data services.