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Reliance Jio’s Revenue Share Jumps, Nearly On A Par With Airtel, Vodafone Idea

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.’s revenue market share jumped for the sixth consecutive quarter, mostly at the expense of India’s biggest telecom operator—Vodafone Idea Ltd.

The Mukesh Ambani-controlled wireless carrier, which triggered a tariff war in the country’s telecom sector, gained nearly 10 percentage points of revenue market share from Vodafone Idea since it started reporting its financials in the quarter ended June 2017.

While Bharti Airtel Ltd. has so far conceded less than four percentage points during the period, India’s youngest telecom operator now controls 30 percent revenue market share.

The revenue market share is calculated based on the adjusted gross revenue—factoring in interconnect usage charges and other deductions—provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. It includes national long-distance revenue.

Excluding national long-distance revenue, Reliance Jio’s revenue market share stands at 38.1 percent—the highest in the industry. That’s because unlike its peers, Reliance Jio hardly assigns any value to national long-distance revenues as it is a data-driven network.

Jio disrupted India’s telecom market first by offering free services and then through dirt-cheap schemes to win subscribers. The resultant tariff war hurt profitability and revenue of rivals, forcing them to either shut down or merge. The launch of its 4G-enabled feature phone—JioPhone—further strengthened its foothold in the telecom market.

Unlike last quarter, Reliance Jio managed to garner more revenue not only from non-metros but also from metros for the three months ended December.

The minimum average revenue per user plan adopted by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel hurt the latter more in metros. Bharti Airtel’s revenue from metro cities declined by nearly 10 percent—the most in last three quarters. India’s top two telecom operators deactivated connections of more than eight crore low-paying subscribers as they focussed on better-paying customers and lowering costs.

The telecom sector as a whole saw a marginal growth in its adjusted gross revenue after declining in the last quarter. The quarterly growth could be attributable to the 15 percent growth in Reliance Jio’s AGR in the December-ended quarter.―Bloomberg Quint


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