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Bharti Airtel falls as rival Idea posts fall in voice volumes

A worker cleans a logo of Bharti Airtel at its zonal office building in Chandigarh May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files

Reuters Market Eye - Bharti Airtel Ltd's(BRTI.NS) shares fall as much as 2 percent after rival Idea Cellular Ltd(IDEA.NS) on Thursday reported lower voice volumes in the July-September quarter from the previous quarter.

Idea is much smaller than Bharti in revenue terms, but both mobile carriers operate on the GSM technology and have similar kinds of subscribers.

Kotak Institutional Equities said in a report that Idea's voice traffic declined 5.8 percent sequentially compared to its estimate of a 3.5 percent decline.

"Idea's voice traffic growth is disappointing. Part of this can be seasonality, but other underlying reasons are yet to be confirmed. And this is getting extrapolated to Bharti's Indian operations as well," said an analyst tracking the sector at a foreign brokerage house.

Bharti Airtel shares were trading at 344 rupees, down 1.6 percent while Idea shares fell 2.4 percent at 2.25 pm.

(Reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi)