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Jio Effect: Telecom Industry Posts 13 Percent Fall In Revenues

The telecom industry’s gross revenues have declined by 12.86 percent to Rs 57,827 crore year on year in the July-September quarter of 2018.

The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of Indian telecom operators declined 13.26 percent year on year to Rs 36,142 crore in the said quarter, according to data released by telecom regulator TRAI.

The average revenue per user (ARPU), based on AGR, declined to Rs 72.50 in the September quarter of 2018. It was Rs 73.34 in the preceding quarter.

Barring Reliance Jio, all the telecom players posted a fall in AGR from access services. Vodafone Idea reported a decline of 8.49 percent at Rs 7528.37 crore, Bharti Airtel saw a dip of 1.31 percent at Rs 6,720.88 crore and BSNL recorded a 15.32 percent drop at Rs 1925.33 in the July-September quarter 2018.

Mukesh Ambani-promoted new entrant Reliance Jio witnessed a 16.08 percent rise in AGR from access services at Rs 8271.85.

The licence fee and spectrum usage charges (SUC) that telecom companies pay to the government also saw a decline. Licence fees fell 11.08 percent to Rs 2889 crore and SUC decreased by 16.95 percent to Rs 1043 crore in the July-September quarter.

The total wireless subscriber base stood at 1,169.29 million. The internet subscriber base was 560.01 million, of which 538.76 million were wireless internet users and 21.25 million were wired internet users.

There were about 388 million 4G LTE subscribers, 75.03 million 2G users and 74.89 million 3G users. The total wireless data usage surged from 10,418,076 terabytes in the June quarter to 15,549,891 terabytes during September quarter of 2018.

Reliance Jio was also the lone telecom player to have gained users in this period. It added 37 million subscribers during the September quarter, taking its total user base to 252.25 million. Bharti Airtel lost one million users and its total base stood at 347.52 million. Rival Vodafone Idea lost 8.35 million users, with its total base at 435.22 million.―DNA India

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