Despite the loss of subscribers, the company was able to boost its 4G network coverage and increase its ARPU in Q3 2018/19

Vodafone Idea posted a 50.05 billion rupees ($700 million) loss for the third quarter of its 2018/19 financial year – its second consecutive quarterly loss since its high-profile merger in August 2018.   

Despite the loss, Vodafone Idea’s CEO, Balesh Sharma, was upbeat about the results, with his company narrowly beating analysts’ expectations by around 5 per cent.

“We are progressing well on our stated strategy. The initiatives taken during the quarter started showing encouraging trends by the end of the quarter. We are moving faster than expected on integration, specifically on the network front, and we are well on track to deliver our synergy targets," said Sharma.

The merging of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular created the country’s biggest telco, with 422.3 million subscribers at the end of Q2 2018/19. However, that number had shrunk by 35 million to 387.2 million just three months later. However, the company was able to bolster its number of 4G subscribers to 75.3 million, up 9.5 million from last quarter.   

"We remain focused on fortifying our position in key districts by expanding the coverage and capacity of our 4G network, and target a higher share of new 4G customers, while offering an enhanced network experience to our customers. The proceeds from the announced capital raise will put us in a strong position to achieve our strategic goals,” said Sharma.

The company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) nudged up by 1.5 per cent, to stand at 89 rupees ($1.24).