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Bharti’s net add in Haryana & Odisha – a positive surprise, ICICI Securities

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its data on subscribers (subs) for Dec’22. Industry-wide active sub-base rose by 8.6mn MoM (vs dip of 4.5mn in Nov’22 and dip of 0.9mn average in past six months) with Bharti Airtel (Bharti) adding 6.0mn subs (vs 0.7mn in past six months). Reliance Jio’s (RJio) active subs rose by 3.0mn in Dec’22 (vs +0.8mn in past six months). VIL saw its active subs decline by 0.1mn. Industry-wide mobile broadband (MBB) sub net add was 6.2mn (vs increase of 4.5mn in past six months). Bharti’s MBB subs rose 3.8mn and its market share expanded to 29.9% (up 20bps MoM) on active basis, while RJio’s dipped 11bps to 51.1%. MNP increased to 12.5mn with churn rate at 1.1%. Bharti has added 0.1mn/0.2mn active subs in Haryana / Odisha in Dec’22 (vs RJio / VIL net add of 0.05mn/0.01mn and 0.2mn/0.02mn in Haryana / Odisha for Dec’22). These are the two circles where Bharti has raised tariffs in end-Nov’22.

Industry-wide active sub-base rose by 8.6mn MoM in Dec’22

  • Industry-wide active sub-base rose by 8.6mn to 1,021mn (up 0.8% MoM, +2.0% YoY).
  • RJio’s active sub-base jumped 3.0mn (average +0.8mn in past six months) to 391mn in Dec’22. Total subs rose by 1.7mn to 425mn, and active subs as a percentage of total subs improved to 92.1%, up 33bps MoM.
  • Bharti’s active sub-base rose 6.0mn (vs +0.7mn in past six months) to 365mn. Its total sub-base increased by 1.5mn. Bharti has increased the minimum tariff from Rs99 to Rs155 in Haryana and Odisha in end-Nov’22. Bharti has added 0.1mn and 0.2mn active subs in these circles in Dec22 (vs 0.04mn and 0.06mn in these circles, in past six months).
  • VIL’s active subs dipped 0.1mn (down by an average of 1.7mn per month in past six months) to 210mn in Dec’22. Total subs reduced by 2.5mn.
  • RJio’s active sub market share dipped 3bps MoM to 38.3%; Bharti’s stood at 35.8% (up 29bps MoM) while VIL’s fell 19bps MoM to 20.5%.

Industry-wide MBB (mobile broadband) subs rose 6.2mn

  • Industry-wide MBB subs stood at 799mn, up 6.2mn, in Dec’22 (up 0.8% MoM / 4.5% YoY) vs past six months’ average net add of 4.5mn MBB subs and highest since Sep’21.
  • Bharti’s MBB sub-base grew 3.8mn to 229mn, which will aid premiumisation. It will help sustain decent ARPU growth in the absence of tariff hike.
  • RJio’s MBB sub-base rose 1.7mn to 425mn. Adjusted for inactive subs, its MBB market share stood at 51.1% (down 11bps MoM). Bharti’s MBB market share was 29.9% (up 20bps MoM) and VIL’s was 16.2% (down 11bps MoM).
  • VIL’s MBB sub-base rose 0.4mn in Dec’22 to 124mn, and under-performed peers.

Wired broadband sub net add steady for Bharti / RJio

  • Wired broadband sub-base rose 0.52mn MoM to 32.4mn (up 1.6% MoM / 22.4% YoY) in Dec’22. Bharti added 0.15mn subs (vs 0.14mn per month in past six months), and RJio added 0.27mn (vs 0.25mn per month in past six months). Other operators’ sub-base rose 0.01mn to 13.8mn.
  • RJio’s market share rose to 23.6% (up 46bps MoM) and that for Bharti increased to 17.7% (up 18bps MoM). BSNL’s sub-base expanded by 0.09mn and its market share rose 8bps MoM to 12.7%.

Industry-wide MNP churn flattish at 1.1%, but elevated

  • Industry-wide porting grew 12.5mn (up 3.9% MoM) in Dec’22. MNP churn rate was 1.1% (vs 1.1% in Nov’22 and earlier 0.7-0.8%).

For report,

CT Bureau

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