Earnings reports

India's IDEA Doubles Quarterly Profit

Indian regional mobile operator Idea Cellular Ltd. more than doubled its profits last quarter as the company prepares to expand its operations into new regions. (See IDEA Reports Q3.}

The carrier on Saturday reported a 108 percent increase in net income for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, from 1.13 billion Indian Rupees (US$28.74 million) the previous year to INR2.4 billion ($61.05 million). Revenues climbed 48 percent from INR11.5 billion ($292.55 million) to INR17.1 billion ($435 million).

IDEA signed up 2.38 million subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total customer base to 21.05 million. It holds a 15.8 percent share of the markets in which it operates.

IDEA, which has licenses to provide services in 11 of India's 23 telecom regions, was recently given approval for licenses in nine new markets. It now has to wait in line for spectrum to begin rolling out operations in those areas, which could take a while given that the allocation process is in disarray. (See Indian Gov't Grants Mobile Licenses.)

In the meantime, the carrier has finally received spectrum to expand its services in Mumbai, Bihar, and some remaining districts in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, having received license approvals for those areas back in 2006. (See Indian Mobile Set to Spread and Spectrum Fight Escalates in India.)

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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