Vodafone’s 4QFY08 KPIs followed a trend similar to those of other GSM incumbents (Bharti/Idea) with a 5% sequential jump in MoUs in response to rev/min decline of 5%qoq. ARPU remained flat sequentially at Rs350. EBITDA margins decline (32% vs. 34% in 1HFY08) is in-line with Bharti and could be a likely result of increased marketing expenditure on higher sub adds. However, absolute margins remain low, still constrained by the circles acquired from Essar.
Vodafone is the only GSM player currently providing its own branded handsets at US$20, though management indicated that no handset subsidies are being given, which is in sharp contrast to the CDMA peers (RCOM/Tata Tele). Besides, MoU trend in the last 2-3 quarters also does not point to any free min schemes to attract users.