India operators earnings remain under pressure - Mobile World Live

India operators earnings remain under pressure

08 OCT 2018

An ongoing price war in India continued to negatively impact operators’ top-line earnings, with sharp year-on-year declines in ARPU in Q2 pushing the industry’s revenue down by a double-digit figure for a second straight year, latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) figures showed.

Operators’ gross revenue fell 10 per cent year-on-year to INR584 billion ($7.85 billion) in the April to June period. The decline follows an 11.5 per cent year-on-year drop in Q2 2017 revenue.

Post paid ARPU in Q2 2018 fell 21 per cent year-on-year to INR307, while prepaid ARPU dropped 9.2 per cent to INR59.

Licence fees decreased 10.2 per cent to INR293 billion: in the 2017 quarter, the fees had fallen 24.4 per cent year-on-year to INR326 billion.

After duties collected from mobile operators fell sharply in 2017, India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently announced plans to conduct special audits to determine if the companies underreported their revenues.

Wider access
On the positive side, TRAI data showed internet penetration rose to 39.3 per cent at end-June from 33.5 per cent a year earlier. Urban dwellers represented 82 per cent of total internet users, a year-on-year gain of 9 percentage points. The country had just 21.1 million fixed-line internet subscriptions, with mobile subscribers accounting for 96 per cent of 512 million total internet users.

While mobile broadband subscribers jumped 25.2 per cent (a gain of 103 million), the number of fixed-line internet connections fell from 21.7 million in June 2017.

Roughly 55 per cent of the country’s 1.15 billion mobile subscribers live in urban areas, down slightly from the 2017 quarter.

Average data usage per mobile subscriber soared to 3.2GB a month in Q2 from 1.25GB a year earlier. Minutes of use per subscriber/month increased 42 per cent year-on-year to 608.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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