MUMBAI: Idea CellularNSE -1.44 % is plugging all possible revenue leakages and has most recently tied up with Route-Mobile to prevent messages on its network from landing for free. The move could save as much as Rs 8-10 crore that will accrue straight to its profit for the telecom operator that has slipped to fourth place from third since the launch of Reliance Jio.
With the severe fall in profits it is time to crack down on any possible revenue leak, said a person in the know of the development. In the April-June quarter, Idea reported a 28% fall in revenue and more than trebled losses on services it offers. The company reported a net profit solely because of a gain from sale of its telecom towers.
RouteMobile, primarily a messagebased services company, bought SMS firewall solution as part of its acquisition of 365squared, a Malta-based company. The solution helps prevent unidentified messages from terminating on the network. RouteMobile’s solution detects the origin of SMSes and allows operators to charge termination fees. Information messages, which include banking passcodes, updates, and sales messages are sometimes routed through unknown operators from Latin America or Africa. If the operator doesn’t have a tie-up with Idea, termination charges can’t be collected. The RouteMobile firewall will block such messages.
“We are optimistic of our SMS Firewall, Analytics and Monetisation solution, which will offer a secure SMS channel to Idea Cellular and open-up a revenue channel,” said Rajdipkumar Gupta, MD, RouteMobile. Idea Cellular, which is also in the process of merging with Vodafone India, is increasing focus on intra-circle roaming between the two operators. Both operators have stalled capital expenditure to first maximise usage of the two combined networks.
“The networks are working better together, we have improved the handoffs between the networks,” said a member on one of the technology teams. The networks are now switching between each other even if there is signal to improve the load sharing. This means that an Idea Cellular customer may get Vodafone network service if the Idea tower on the location is overloaded, and vice versa. Idea and Vodafone did not respond to ET’s query.
The merger was announced last year in March but was held up for regulatory permission. Recently, Vodafone paid its disputed dues of nearly Rs 7,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications to proceed with the merger. ET had earlier reported that even before the merger the two companies were working towards synchronising the networks by sharing networks and towers using roaming agreements to make the final merger quicker.