The financial condition of telecom operators continues to be in stress as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of the industry declined by 6.44% in the October-December 2018 quarter to `36,054 crore, compared with `38,536 crore in the same period last year.
As a result of the declining revenues, the government’s proceeds in the form of licence fee and spectrum usage charges (SUC) also decreased by 6.90% and 7.62% to `2,890 crore and `1,064 crore, respectively, data shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) showed.
Expectedly, Reliance Jio’s AGR from access services rose by 14.63% to `9,482.31 crore in the December quarter, compared with `8,271.85 crore in the preceding September quarter. Apart from Jio, only Reliance Communications managed to increase its AGR in access services to `196.31 crore in the reported period, compared with `95.32 crore in the preceding quarter. The increase can be attributed to increase in its enterprise customer base.
All other operators saw their access services AGR decline during the period under review. State-run MTNL was the worst hit with a dip of 16.87% in its AGR to `427.24 crore, against `513.93 crore last time. Similarly, BSNL’s AGR was down 9.40% to `1,744.37 crore, compared to `1,925.33 crore. Vodafone Idea, which is the largest operator in terms of subscribers, saw its AGR dip 4.05% to `7,223.72 crore as compared to `7,528.37 crore. Bharti Airtel’s AGR was also down 4.18% to `6,439.65 crore as against `6,720.88 crore. Trai has not shared operator-specific revenue data for national long distance (NLD) international long distance (ILD) services.
Access services contribute 72.31% of the total AGR of telecom services, while NLD contribute 23% and ILD’s share is 4%. The NLD and ILD revenues of the incumbent operators is higher than that of Reliance Jio.
Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) for wireless services also decreased to `70 for the reported quarter as against `80 in the same period last year.