RCom reports second straight loss in Q4

telecomasia.net

India's Reliance Communications has reported its second consecutive quarterly loss as a result of the ongoing price war in the Indian market.

The operator reported a net loss of the quarter ending in March of 12.92 billion rupees ($200.6 million), down from a 9.17 billion rupee loss in the previous quarter and a 1.6 billion loss in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue fell 8.1% sequentially and 24.3% year-on-year to 45.23 billion rupees, with voice revenue down 9.9% sequentially and non-voice revenue falling 12.3% over the same period.

RCom's total customer base shrank by 3 million during the quarter to 84.7 million, with voice ARPU down to 87 rupees from 94 rupees despite an increase in total MoU to 105.6 from 102.1.

Data customers declined by 3.7 million to 28.3 million, with data traffic and data usage per customer both also falling.

RCom's fourth quarter report states that the company is on track to complete its proposed merger with Sistema Shyam Teleservices' (SSTL) wireless operations this month, pending approvals from the Department of Telecom. The company also recently secured shareholder approvals to complete its merger with Aircel to create one of India's top four operators by subscribers and revenue.

India's telecoms sector is struggling due to the aggressive pricing practices of new market entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm, with operators consistently reporting declining profits. But unlike its rivals, RCom is in a position to capitalize on Jio's success due to the two operators' 4G partnership.

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