Bharti Airtel, India’s second-biggest telecom operator, on Monday, reported a 22.2 percent increase in quarterly revenue, boosted by 4G subscriber additions and higher data consumption.

The average revenue per user (ARPU)– a key performance indicator in the telecom industry – came in at Rs. 183 rupees for the quarter, up from Rs. 146 from a year earlier. ARPU of rivals Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea for the same period was Rs. 175.7 and Rs. 128, respectively.

Analysts expected the first-quarter ARPU to be boosted by a residual impact of tariff increase done late last year.

The company’s consolidated revenue from operations rose to Rs. 32,805 crore for the quarter ended June 30, from Rs. 26,854 billion in the same period last year, according to a regulatory filing.

Airtel said mobile data consumption surged by 16.6 percent from a year ago, with consumption per mobile data customer at 19.5 GB per month.

The company said in November, when it announced tariff hikes, that mobile ARPU needed to be at Rs. 200 and ultimately at Rs. 300, for a financially healthy business model.

Consolidated net profit rose to Rs. 1,607 crore rupees for the quarter ended June 30, from Rs. 284 crore a year ago.

The company has been raising money to fund its digital ambitions, including developing home broadband, data centres, cloud adoption as it prepares to launch its next-generation 5G services in the country.

Airtel last week won 5G spectrum worth $5.4 billion (roughly Rs. 43,000 crore) in the country’s $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1.5 lakh crore) auction. The government aims to begin the rollout of 5G – which it says can provide data speeds about 10 times faster than 4G – by October this year.

© Thomson Reuters 2022




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