Uninor, the Indian brand of Telenor, has managed to break even at an operating level for the first time in India, thanks to the recent cut in termination charges by telecom regulator TRAI.
TRAI had, about five months ago, cut termination charges (paid by one operator to another) by a massive 30% — helping low-cost operators like Uninor and Tata DoCoMo and hurting high-cost operators like Vodafone and Bharti Airtel.
Low cost operators account for more call originations, while high-cost operators account for more call terminations.
“As a result of increased revenues and improved gross margin following the mobile termination rate cut, the Indian operation delivered a positive EBITDA for the full quarter,” Telenor said.
As expected, Uninor’s revenue in India declined to 1,362 mln Norwegian Crowns (krone) from 1383 mln in the previous three months. Still, it moved to a 24 mln positive EBITDA (profit before accounting tax, depreciation, capital expenditure and so on) from a negative 54 mln EBITDA in the previous three months.
In the year ago period, its EBITDA was negative 106 mln krone.
Uninor continued to see a fall in the total amount of money that an average customer spent, touching 95 rupees per month during the quarter, from 108 a year ago.
The Indian market is seeing a rapid shift towards data and away from voice. However, Uninor does not have 3G or 4G spectrum.