Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea to register fall in wireless revenues in Q1: Emkay
Impacted by the nationwide lockdown, wireless revenues for Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) will register a fall in the first quarter of FY21, according to a report by Emkay Global.The lockdown has resulted in delayed recharges by low Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) pre-paid subscribers on account of the reverse labour migration and impact on income levels and minimal subscriber additions. It also led to SIM consolidation and the absence of international roaming revenues.“We expect ARPU to decline sequentially in Q1 after healthy growth in Q4. Bharti and VIL are likely to see about 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter fall in ARPU. Home broadband will see a healthy increase in new connections, boosted by the lockdown,” it said.Airtel Africa should perform well as the impact of Covid-19 was minimal, it added.Subscriber addition shall moderate due to the lack of smartphone sales in April and early May. In fact, reverse migration could lead to subscriber losses for the industry due to delayed or no recharges.The brokerage firm expects Bharti’s subscriber base to decline by 7 million, while VIL, which has about 52 per cent rural subscriber base, will witness a more pronounced subscriber loss of 12 million.Both operators will see a minimal rise in data subscribers. Reliance Jio Infocomm will register a subscriber addition of 6 million on account of market share gains.Data consumption for Bharti, VIL and RJIO is estimated to rise by 10-12 per cent q-o-q, driven by underlying increase as new subscriber adds are expected to remain muted.Consolidated EBITDA for Bharti will be flat sequentially, while the brokerage house projects VIL to post an 18 per cent q-o-q decline due to a drop in revenues and high base of the fourth quarter.