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Idea Cellular's Managing Director Himanshu Kapania speaks during a news conference to announce the company's quarterly results in Mumbai October 24, 2013.Reuters file

India's third largest telecom company, Idea Cellular on Wednesday posted a loss of Rs 12.84 billion (Rs 1,284.5 crore) for the quarter ended on December 31, 2017.

Idea said a sharp cut in call connect charges and competitive tariff rates among telecom companies are the reasons for the loss.

Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned telecom operator had registered a loss of Rs 3.84 billion (Rs 383.9 crore) in the year-ago period, according to its regulatory filing, reports PTI.

It added that the revenue from operations came in at Rs 65.1 billion (Rs 6,509.6 crore) for the quarter ended December 2017, almost 25 percent lower than Rs 86.63 billion (Rs 8,662.7 crore) in the same period the previous year.

The company pointed out that 57 percent sharp decline in IUC (Interconnect Usage Charges) settlement rates negatively impacted Idea's Revenue and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) for this quarter by Rs 8,200 million (Rs 820 crore) and Rs 2,300 million (Rs 230 crore) respectively, the news agency reported.

The telecom company gave hints about the merger plans with Vodafone India. Idea Cellular said that the merger is awaiting final regulatory approval and expected to complete in the first half of 2018. The proposed entity will create India's largest telecom company by revenue and subscriber base. 

Last week, Reliance Jio posted a net profit of Rs 504 crore, in three months ended in December, the company announced.