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Vodafone India expects government to make available idle spectrum

Posted on May 21 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, May 20 : Vodafone India expects the new government at the Centre will make idle spectrum available to the industry, Marten Pieters, managing director and chief executive officer of the company said here Tuesday.

"We want government to make all spectrum that is idle now to make available for the industry. We are starved for spectrum in this country," he said.

"We feel the industry is charged with taxes too much. About 28-29 percent of our gross revenue goes to the government in the form of taxes, licence fees and many more. It is really, really high compared to other countries. This means profitability is really low and very high debt in the industry and not enough money for future investment," he added.

Vodafone also Tuesday reported a 60 percent increase in adjusted operating profit at its Indian operations for the fiscal 2013-14.

The company for the first time reported positive profit after tax for the full fiscal, in the seven years of its operation in India, Thomas Reisten, chief financial officer, Vodafone India, said. Strong growth in voice minutes along with strengthened average revenue per minute at 47 paise in 2013-14, which was a 6.2 percent growth. This could be one of the reasons for better profitability.

Service revenue in Indian operations increased 13 percent, driven by continued customer growth, data usage as well as improved voice pricing. Mobile customers increased by 14.2 million during the year yielding a closing customer base of 166.6 million at March 31, 2014.

Data traffic in India increased 125 percent year-on-year, and at the end of the year Vodafone had 52 million data customers in India alone, with 7 million of these being 3G data customers, the company said.

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