Aircel eyes data biz to drive growth

Buoyed by the increasing share of revenues from data services in its Karnataka operations, telecom service provider Aircel Ltd plans to widen its offerings and focus more on it to drive business growth.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald, Aircel's Circle Business Head for Karnataka, K Kadhiravan said,  "Our second quarter growth of 10.6 per cent as against industry average of 2.8 per cent was mainly due to the change in our subscriber profile; data service subscribers constituted 26 per cent as against 19 per cent earlier. This segment now accounts for almost 47 per cent of our average revenue per of Rs 130 per month. We hope to grow by about 15 per cent in the coming months."

Kadhiravan said that as part of its growth plans, Aircel has piloted an initiative in Karnataka called "Aircel Home" that allows customers to access Internet and also make calls. The offering comprises two SIM cards and is available in two monthly plans of Rs 799 and Rs 1,699.

"We received about 1,000 customers within 15 days," he said. Encouraged by the response, the company is mulling a pan-India rollout. The company is also targeting captive subscriber bases like Tibetans and student communities.  

As on October 31, 2012, Aircel had 1.6 million subscribers in Karnataka and 66.78 million across India. Its revenues for the quarter ending September 30, 2012 stood at Rs 1,851.2 crore, up from Rs 1,552.9 crore during the corresponding period last year. The company reported consolidated revenues at Rs 6,257 crore in 2011-12.

The company raised $25 million in October this year via Euro Convertible Bonds that have a maturity period of 7.8 years.

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