Reliance Communications, the CDMA telecom operator from the ADA Group added 18 million subscribers this year, compared to 8 million last year. This brings its total tally to 46 million customers. Anil Ambani, Chairman of ADAG repeatedly reiterated the grand scope of the GSM rollout: the company aims to set up a pan-India GSM and CDMA network covering 23,000 towns and 6 lakh villages. They’re starting with 8,000 towns and 2 lakh villages in the next two months, looking to reach approximately 97 percent of the Indian population. Capital expenses are understandably through the roof but they expect substantial returns from the same in the near-mid term (starting 2009) as well as expenses going down substantially during the same period. Additionally, $500 million has been earmarked over the next 5 years for acquiring and investments in WiMax providers globally. Readers will remember therecent 90% acquisition in UK based eWave World.
On the MVNO front Ambani said they have been approached by multiple parties but will wait for TRAI recommendations on the subject before making a decision.
Total revenue for RCom grew 9 percent to Rs 48,742 million with Net revenue growing 14.9 percent to Rs 37,554 million. Blended ARPU has dipped from Rs 339 to Rs 317 quarter-on-quarter, interestingly, non-voice revenue percentage of ARPU grew from 6.4 percent to 6.9 percent. Broadband access lines net additions grew 16 percent quarter-on-quarter. Reliance currently holds 65 percent market share of the data card and USB modem market for laptops and PCs. Fourth Quarter 2008 results here.