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BENGALURU, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Bharti Airtel Ltd , India’s No.2 telecom carrier by subscribers, reported a bigger-than-expected increase in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, helped by 4G subscriber additions and higher revenue per user.

The company’s consolidated revenue from operations rose to 358.04 billion rupees ($4.33 billion) for the three months ended Dec.31, from 298.67 billion rupees a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had expected 357.27 billion rupees in revenue, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Airtel said revenue from its India mobile services, evden eVE naKliyAT which has about 332.24 million subscribers as of the December quarter, rose 20.8% to 193.53 billion rupees.

Its 4G data customers, too, evdEN EVe NaKLiyat increased by 6.4 million to hit 216. For more information on EVden eve NAKLiyAT check out our web-page. 72 million.

Airtel’s average revenue per user (ARPU), a key performance indicator for telecom firms, was at 193 rupees, logging a 1.6% sequential rise and an 18.4% year-on-year increase.

Last month, market leader Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of conglomerate Reliance Industries, evDeN EVe nakLiYAT said its third-quarter ARPU stood at 178.2 rupees per subscriber per month, an increase of only 0.6% from a quarter ago and a 17.5% climb from a year ago.

Airtel added that mobile data consumption surged by 22.5% to 20.3 GB of usage per customer per month.

The company’s net profit for the December quarter climbed to 15.88 billion rupees from 8.3 billion rupees a year ago.

Airtel shares closed 0.4% lower at 785.9 rupees ahead of the results.They had fallen 5.1% since late October when the company reported September-quarter results that beat analysts’ revenue expectations. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Janane Venkatraman)

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