India's second-largest cellular firm Reliance Communications reported Saturday quarterly net profit plunged 43.5 percent from a year ago but was bullish about revenues from mobile Internet.
Reliance Communications, or RCom, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, said in a statement net profit in the fiscal second quarter fell to 2.52 billion rupees ($50 million) from 4.5 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier.
It was the debt-laden company's ninth straight drop in quarterly profit but the results were far better than projected by analysts.
"This was a robust quarter for us," RCom's head for wireless business Syed Safawi said.
"Data and non-voice revenue contribute around 20 percent to the overall revenue. We see data and non-voice revenue firming to 35 to 40 percent in the next two years," he said.
Reliance has rolled out new high-speed third-generation networks, hoping they will boost revenues.
Safawi added that a hike in tariffs following a vicious price war that had gouged the balance sheets of all cellular players had started showing results.
The prospects for mobile operators in India, the world's second-fastest-growing cellular market after China, have picked up following the end to the fierce price war.
Reliance, India's second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, had 147 million connections, up from 117 million a year earlier.
Reliance, whose revenues fell nearly five percent to 47.9 billion rupees, is looking to sell off its telecom transmission tower unit in a bid to sharply reduce its more than $7 billion debt.
Indian media reported on Friday that RCom had entered talks with the private equity consortium of Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group to sell its tower unit, with a deal likely to happen by December.
Reliance has spent over a year looking for a buyer for its Infratel tower unit.