Telecom sector revenues rise after 9 quarters

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Updated: October 2, 2019 6:44:50 AM

BSNL’s AGR grew 27.94% sequentially to Rs 2,598.61 crore in the June 2019 quarter against Rs 2,031.07 crore in the March 2019 quarter.

After analysing data of the last over two years, this is the first time in nine quarters when the industry has seen a healthy jump in revenues.

After declining for nine quarters, the revenue of the telecom industry has finally started to grow, and in the April-June 2019 period, both gross revenue and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of the sector have seen a rise.

Figures shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) show that the gross revenue of the industry for April-June 2019 stood at Rs 61,535 crore, a 5.37% jump against Rs 58,401 crore last year. Similarly, AGR rose 7.03% to `39,124 crore for the reported period compared with Rs 36,552 crore last year.

After analysing data of the last over two years, this is the first time in nine quarters when the industry has seen a healthy jump in revenues.

Last time, the industry saw both gross revenue and AGR increase was in the July-September 2016 quarter, when both the segments grew over 9%. However, after that there has been a decline and, in the October-December 2016 period, the AGR of the industry declined 0.39%, though the gross revenue rose marginally.

Reliance Jio had launched its commercial services in September 2016 and the industry has witnessed over two years of brutal tariff war. The signs of revival were visible in the preceding January-March 2019 quarter when the industry reported a marginal or 0.66% rise in AGR to Rs 35,932 crore, though gross revenue declined 6.08% to Rs 58,414 crore.

In terms of operators, it is the state-run BSNL, which has topped the growth rate in AGR in access services. BSNL’s AGR grew 27.94% sequentially to Rs 2,598.61 crore in the June 2019 quarter against Rs 2,031.07 crore in the March 2019 quarter. Bharti Airtel also saw its AGR grew 26.15% sequentially to Rs7,468.63 crore for the reported period compared with Rs 5,920.22 crore in the preceding March quarter. Reliance Jio’s AGR grew 9.77% to Rs 10,800.44 crore for the period compared with Rs 9,838.91 crore in the preceding quarter.
Vodafone Idea’s AGR though continue to decline and the figures for the reported period stood at Rs 6721.06 crore, down 5.78% from Rs 7,133.40 crore in the preceding quarter. Access services contributed 73.23% of the total AGR of telecom services. Monthly average revenue per user (Arpu) for access services increased to Rs 80.66 against Rs 72.49 in March quarter.

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