Fourth quarter profit at India’s fourth largest operator, Reliance Communications, shot up by 46 per cent year-on-year, as the operator experienced a surge in data usage.
Reliance saw net profit rise to INR 2.28 billion ($36 million) in the three months to end-March from INR1.56 billion in the year-ago period. Revenue grew by less than one per cent to INR57 billion.
Most striking about the operator’s Q4 numbers was the rapid increase in total data traffic, to 87.2 million megabytes from 50.25 million megabytes a year ago. Data usage per customer has risen to 893 megabytes from 455 megabytes.
Reliance’ s data usage per customer is the highest among Indian operators, Gurdeep Singh, the CEO of consumer business, told Economic Times.
Confusingly, the total number of data customers actually appeared to have declined to 33.7 million (end-March 2015) from 37.4 million a year earlier. However, closer examination shows a change in definition by the company.
A year ago, customers using the smallest amount of data were included in the category. Now it is only those accessing more than one megabyte per month of data.
The 3G base rose to 17.4 million from 12.9 million. Reliance’s total customer base fell slightly to 111 million from 112 million.
However, ARPU climbed 15 percent to INR147. And voice ARPU rose 12 per cent to INR110.