BENGALURU, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS), India’s second-biggest telecom operator, on Monday reported a 22.2% increase in quarterly revenue, boosted by 4G subscriber additions and higher data consumption.
Average revenue per user (ARPU)– a key performance indicator in the telecom industry – came in at 183 rupees ($2.30) for the quarter, up from 146 rupees from a year earlier. ARPU of rivals Reliance Jio (RELIB.UL) and Vodafone Idea (VODA.NS) for the same period was 175.7 rupees and 128 rupees, respectively.
Analysts expected 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 328.05 billion rupees ($4.12 billion) for the quarter ended June 30, from 268.54 billion rupees in the same period last year, according to a regulatory filing.
Airtel said mobile data consumption surged by 16.6% 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 200 rupees and ultimately at 300 rupees, for a financially healthy business model.
Consolidated net profit rose to 16.07 billion rupees for the quarter ended June 30, from 2.84 billion rupees 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 in the country’s $19 billion 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.
($1 = 79.5930 Indian rupees)