Kolkata: The telecom sector recorded a near 3.6 % sequential growth in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) in the fiscal second quarter FY21, helped by higher mobile recharge volumes and data consumption growth as Covid19 lockdown curbs were eased and mobile broadband customer adds stayed strong.

Latest data put out by the telecom regulator showed all the Big 3 telcos – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – notched sequential AGR gains in the September quarter.

Reliance Jio’s AGR, or revenue from licenced services, climbed 4.29% on-quarter to Rs 15,915.14 crore in the July-September period, while Bharti Airtel’s grew 6.71% sequentially to Rs 10,764.90 crore. Vodafone Idea’s quarterly AGR, in turn, climbed 9.73% on-quarter to Rs 6,435.79 crore, Trai data showed.

This has resulted in the overall telecom industry AGR rising 3.58% on-quarter to Rs 45,707 crore in the fiscal second quarter.

Higher quarterly AGR has automatically translated into higher licence fee and spectrum usage charge (SUC) takings for the telecom department. Licence fee mop-up climbed 3.7% sequentially to Rs 3,656 crore, while SUC collections rose 5.94% on-quarter to Rs 1,451 crore, data collated by Trai showed.

This is since telcos annually pay 8% of their AGR as licence fees and 3-5% towards SUC to the government.

Overall sectoral minutes of consumption rose, with the all-India average minutes of usage (MoU) per subscriber per month from wireless services gaining 2.37% sequentially to 761 in the quarter ended September.

Access services contributed 79% of total telecom services AGR in the fiscal second quarter, FY21.

Trai’s report on the telecom industry’s September quarter performance also indicated that the monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) from wireless services rose 7.49% on-quarter to Rs 96.87 in July-September, as the overall volume of mobile recharges jumped, post easing of lockdown curbs.