Companies & Sectors
India's telephone subscriber base crosses 951 million

During the quarter to end-March, total wireless (GSM and CDMA both) subscriber base, grew 2.83% to reach 919.17 million, while wireline subscriber base declined to 32.17 million

New Delhi: Total telephone subscriber base in the country grew by 2.68% to reach 951.34 million at the end of March, 2012, according to January-March quarterly data released by sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), reports PTI.
The subscriber base stood at 926.53 million at the end of December 2011.
The total wireless (GSM and CDMA both) subscriber base, grew 2.83% during the quarter to reach 919.17 million at the end of March 2012 as compared to 893.84 million at the end of December 2011.
However, the wireline subscriber base continued to decline and at the end of March 2012. It stood at 32.17 million as compared to 32.69 million at the end of December 2011, bringing down teledensity to 2.66 from 2.71.
Subscription in urban areas grew from 611.19 million at the end of December 2011 to 620.52 million at the end of March 2012, taking urban tele-density from 167.85 to 169.55.
Rural subscription increased from 315.33 million to 330.82 million, and rural tele-density increased from 37.48 to 39.22.
Internet subscriber base grew 2.10% during the quarter to reach 22.86 million at the end of March 2012 from 22.39 million at the end of December 2011. The broadband user base reached 13.81 million from 13.35 million during the same period.
Gross revenue and adjusted gross revenue of telecom service sector for the quarter has been Rs49,242.99 crore and Rs34,457.07 crore respectively.
Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) for GSM service increased by 1.66% to reach Rs97 at the end of March 2012 from Rs96 at the end of December 2011.
Bharti Airtel maintained its leadership position with a user base of 184.55 million at the end of March 2012.
However, in terms of net additions during the quarter, Idea was number one having added the maximum users, followed by Uninor and Bharti Airtel.
Idea added 6.34 million new users while Uninor and Airtel added 6.13 million and 5.58 million respectively.
Vodafone added 2.74 million users during the quarter to take its total base to 150.48 million at the end of March, 2012.
State-run BSNL and MTNL added 1.22 million and 0.16 million new users to take their base to 120.98 million and 9.29 million respectively at the end of March, 2012.
Tata, S-Tel and Etisalat have recorded a negative growth during the quarter. Tata lost 1.70 million subscribers during the quarter while 0.12 million users left STel and 0.89 million left Etisalat.


HC restrains sale of benami property in Rs600 crore Pen Urban bank scam

The petitioners have alleged Rs600 crore had been siphoned off by directors of Pen Urban Cooperative Bank and this money be recovered from them

Mumbai: Hearing a petition alleging siphoning of Rs600 crore by board of directors in Pen Urban Cooperative Bank in Raigad district of Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court has restrained owners of 39 properties held in benami names from selling or creating third party rights, reports PTI.
Justice DD Sinha and Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani also asked Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make its stand clear on 26th September, the next date of hearing.
The 39 benami properties valued at Rs60 crore have already been attached. However, the court ordered those persons holding such properties as benami on behalf of the owners not to dispose them or sell them or create third party rights until the case is finally disposed of.
RBI had suggested appointment of a liquidator but the petitioners Naren Jadhav and others have opposed the move saying the bank should be revived instead so that the interests of the investors are protected.
It was argued that most of the investors were those who had invested less than Rs1 lakh individually and would stand to lose if the bank was allowed to go under liquidation.
The petitioners have instead suggested that steps be taken to help the bank in meeting its obligations towards the investors and protecting the funds.
The petitioners have alleged Rs600 crore had been siphoned off by the bank's directors and this money be recovered from them.


TataComm subsidiary to manage 14,000 ATMS

Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions, which already manages nearly 12,900 cash vending machines, would install 14,000 ATMs for all PSBs in AP, TN, WB, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2013-14


Mumbai: Tata Communications' payment solutions providing unit has won an exclusive order to install and manage nearly 14,000 ATMs for all public sector banks in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2013-14, reports PTI.

The contract has been won by the company's three-year-old wholly-owned subsidiary -- Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions (TCBIL)-- which already manages nearly 12,900 cash vending machines for 25 banks and a few co-operative banks across the country.

TCBIL, which specialises in payment solutions for the banking and financial services sector, is the single largest ATM operator. It has around 19% market share in terms of the number of outsourced cash vending machines and with the current order, this will go up to 21%, TCBIL President Sudip Kumar told a select media briefing here today.

"With this contract, which is a huge endorsement of our competence in the banking infrasolutions space, as we commenced operations only three years ago, we have become the largest managed ATM services provider, with almost 27,000 contracted ATMs nationwide," Kumar said.

The second largest operator is the ATM manufacturer-cum- operator NCR, which enjoys 12% market share.

This contract award is part of the Government push for extending the reach of banking to unbanked areas. Last year, Finance Ministry had asked state-run banks to come together to launch ATMs. Accordingly, PSBs will be installing 63,000 cash machines by 2013-14 under a managed ATM services model.

Plans are also afoot to allow third-party operators to enter the fray under what is called white label ATMs, under which everything, including branding, will done by independent ATM operators for banks for a fee. The RBI has already issued a draft guidelines on white label ATMs.

On the rationale for a telecom network firm entering the banking services space, Tata Communications Chief Strategy Officer Srinivasa Addepalli said, "Already banks are our largest customers and there can be better synergy in extending our offering into the ATM space."

Asked when TCBIL, which is yet to report profit, will clock profit, Kumar did not give a direct reply but said normally an ATM takes seven to nine months to turn profitable.

Last year the company had revenues of about Rs180 crore, he added.

On an average, the cost of installing an ATM varies from Rs5 to Rs7 lakh, and the charges an operator nets varies between Rs6 and Rs12 per transaction, depending on location.

Accordingly, 100 transactions a day can turn a particular site profitable after this gestation period, Kumar added.

TCBIL's first ATM went operational in July 2009 and it added nearly half of its network of 12,900 last year spanning over 300 towns or cities.


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