Telecom operators approach the government for deferment of forthcoming auctions

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications have approached the Ministry of Communications and IT, seeking deferment of the next round of spectrum auctions. The operators are of the view that due to lack of adequate spectrum being put up for auction in the 900 MHz spectrum band, operators may not be able to buy back the entire spectrum, thereby negatively impacting the continuity of provision of services.

Currently, licences are due for extension in 2015-16 in 11 circles in the country. According to the operators, the amount of spectrum being put up for the forthcoming auctions is less than the 2G spectrum currently being used by operators whose licences are due for renewal. If the operators are unable to win back the existing spectrum holding then there may not be enough spectrum in the 1800 MHz band to fall back on to ensure continuity of services . In such a scenario, operators face the risk of business disruption, including potential closure of their service offerings. Further, the limited quantum of spectrum shall be an impediment to the provision of affordable broadband data services, which will negatively impact the execution of Digital India project.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also stated that supply side issues will affect not only the proposed auction of spectrum arising from expiry of licences in 2015-16, but will also continue to have a negative impact on all subsequent auctions of spectrum becoming available from future expiry of licences. Thus, TRAI has raised concerns over executing the forthcoming auction without resolving the spectrum constraints.

Telecom operators approach the government for deferment of forthcoming auctions

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications have approached the Ministry of Communications and IT, seeking deferment of the next round of spectrum auctions. The operators are of the view that due to lack of adequate spectrum being put up for auction in the 900 MHz spectrum band, operators may not be able to buy back the entire spectrum, thereby negatively impacting the continuity of provision of services.

Currently, licences are due for extension in 2015-16 in 11 circles in the country. According to the operators, the amount of spectrum being put up for the forthcoming auctions is less than the 2G spectrum currently being used by operators whose licences are due for renewal. If the operators are unable to win back the existing spectrum holding then there may not be enough spectrum in the 1800 MHz band to fall back on to ensure continuity of services . In such a scenario, operators face the risk of business disruption, including potential closure of their service offerings. Further, the limited quantum of spectrum shall be an impediment to the provision of affordable broadband data services, which will negatively impact the execution of Digital India project.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also stated that supply side issues will affect not only the proposed auction of spectrum arising from expiry of licences in 2015-16, but will also continue to have a negative impact on all subsequent auctions of spectrum becoming available from future expiry of licences. Thus, TRAI has raised concerns over executing the forthcoming auction without resolving the spectrum constraints.

Bharti Airtel reports 170 per cent increase in net profits for the quarter ended September 2014

Bharti Airtel has reported an increase of 170.2 per cent in its net profits from Rs 5.12 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to Rs 13.83 billion for the quarter ended September 2014. The company posted a 7.1 per cent growth in total revenues from Rs 213.24 billion in July-September 2013 to Rs 228.45 billion in July-September 2014. The mobile data revenues constituted about two-third of the incremental revenues for the operator. The mobile data revenues grew by 66.7 per cent from Rs 15.23 billion to Rs 25.39 billion.

Further, the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation grew by 12.1 per cent from Rs 68.72 billion in July-September 2013 to Rs 77.05 billion in July-September 2014.

For Indian operations, Airtel reported an increase of 12.33 per cent in revenues from Rs 140.79 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to Rs 158.15 billion for the quarter ended September 2014, led by an 11.3 per cent growth in mobile services revenues. The data average revenue per user increased by 17 per cent from Rs 129 in July-September 2013 to Rs 150 in July-September 2014 while the data traffic on its network showed an improvement of 95 per cent from 34.62 billion MB to 67.66 billion MB. This led to an increase of 73.8 per cent in mobile data revenues to Rs 18.04 billion for the quarter ended September 2014.

For the African operations, the company posted an increase of 1.87 per cent in revenues from $1.11 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to $1.14 billion for the corresponding quarter in 2014. The overall service revenue increase was due to the growth of 56.8 per cent in data revenues to $115 million in July-September 2014. This was primarily led by a 50 per cent increase in date customer base from 17.53 million in July-September 2013 to 26.36 million in July-September 2014, with a 91 per cent increase in data traffic to 8.06 billion MB.

Bharti Airtel reports 170 per cent increase in net profits for the quarter ended September 2014

Bharti Airtel has reported an increase of 170.2 per cent in its net profits from Rs 5.12 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to Rs 13.83 billion for the quarter ended September 2014. The company posted a 7.1 per cent growth in total revenues from Rs 213.24 billion in July-September 2013 to Rs 228.45 billion in July-September 2014. The mobile data revenues constituted about two-third of the incremental revenues for the operator. The mobile data revenues grew by 66.7 per cent from Rs 15.23 billion to Rs 25.39 billion.

Further, the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation grew by 12.1 per cent from Rs 68.72 billion in July-September 2013 to Rs 77.05 billion in July-September 2014.

For Indian operations, Airtel reported an increase of 12.33 per cent in revenues from Rs 140.79 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to Rs 158.15 billion for the quarter ended September 2014, led by an 11.3 per cent growth in mobile services revenues. The data average revenue per user increased by 17 per cent from Rs 129 in July-September 2013 to Rs 150 in July-September 2014 while the data traffic on its network showed an improvement of 95 per cent from 34.62 billion MB to 67.66 billion MB. This led to an increase of 73.8 per cent in mobile data revenues to Rs 18.04 billion for the quarter ended September 2014.

For the African operations, the company posted an increase of 1.87 per cent in revenues from $1.11 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to $1.14 billion for the corresponding quarter in 2014. The overall service revenue increase was due to the growth of 56.8 per cent in data revenues to $115 million in July-September 2014. This was primarily led by a 50 per cent increase in date customer base from 17.53 million in July-September 2013 to 26.36 million in July-September 2014, with a 91 per cent increase in data traffic to 8.06 billion MB.

Lenovo completes Motorola Mobility acquisition at $2.9 billion

Lenovo has completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion. However, Motorola will continue to operate as a separate entity in India. Lenovo believes that India is one of the most important markets for the company and that Lenovo and Motorola combined have the third highest share in the Indian mobile handset market. Therefore, it intends to continue selling Motorola’s handsets through online portals while Lenovo handsets will continue to be sold through retail stores in India.

In India, Motorola handsets are sold in partnership with the online e-commerce website, Flipkart. Further, the Motorola brand will continue to use Moto and DROID franchises.

Earlier in January 2014, Lenovo had announced the acquisition of Motorola which was previously acquired by Google in 2012.