Airtel, Vodafone & Idea Gained VLR Subscribers in Last One Year; Industry Revenue May Revive Over 12-18 Months: India Ratings

By November 17th, 2017 AT 11:38 AM

India’s top telecom operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, have gained VLR subscribers over the past year even as active subscriber base declines for most telcos in absolute numbers. Airtel gained 23 million VLR subscribers over the past year, while Idea Cellular and Vodafone gained 11.9 million and 5.1 million VLR subscribers, respectively, over past one year, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said in its report. These telecom operators, however, have now started reporting subscriber loss in the past three months.

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The agency said that Mukesh Ambani-led 4G entrant, Reliance Jio, continues to gain subscribers steadily (4-5 million per month) despite obvious saturation. However, Jio’s active subscriber base was relatively low at 100 million due to its lower active subscribers (measured by peak visitor location register (VLR)) – at 75% in August 2017. Jio had 133 million subscribers by end August 2017.

Ind-Ra said that Jio’s market share gain is largely explained by the dual-SIM phenomenon and rapid loss of market position by the smaller telcos.

The Mukesh Ambani-led telco, which gained quickly after its launch based on free pricing, is now trying to retain the same through discounted tariffs and cash back offers. Jio’s biggest impact has been on data consumption pattern as all its wireless subscribers are by default broadband data subscribers. This has increased not only the absolute number of data subscribers but also its discounted tariffs have increased the data consumption multi-fold.

The agency said that telecom revenues in India plunged by 2% to Rs 1.9 trillion in the fiscal year 20117, reflecting free pricing by Reliance Jio Jio during the second half of the year FY17 and rest of the industry’s response to the same.

It said that the industry revenues could revive over 12-18 months period led by Jio increasing its tariffs, exit of smaller telcos and expansion of the data revenue base, leading to the probability of relatively stable pricing environment with lower competitors per circle. Going forward as tariffs move up, the multiple SIM usages will reduce and Average Revenue Per User per SIM will move up.

Reliance Communications Limited has announced the discontinuation of voice telephony services from December 1, 2017, and to continue providing only 4G data services.

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Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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NikhilRhishav (Kolkata)VishalSandyKunal Recent comment authors
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Kunal
Kunal

Today i went to port my rcom postpaid to airtel prepaid in mumbai . Three of the airtel gallaries in andheri & parle refused to give prepaid saying prepaid sims are out of stock . All pleaded to join postpaid or inquire after five days for prepaid. Same with vodafone in mumbai. None of the voda stores have prepaid sims. Then went to rcom store to know my unbilled amount. To my surprise , i found all mobile operators sales person doing portability inside rcom store. All were there with jio being the busiest. I ported to airtel prepaid &… Read more »

Vishal
Vishal

Y dnt u visit any normal retail shop. They can do poting also.

Rhishav (Kolkata)
Rhishav (Kolkata)

How many sims are you currently using bro? I know you have Jio as primary but what else do you use/carry with you?

Nikhil
Nikhil

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…… I have two Jio Sims, two Idea Sims, One Airtel Sim!!!!! One of Idea Sim is ported from Vodafone recently!!!!!

Jignesh
Jignesh

Idea is now offering 100% cashback just like jio but with recharge of Rs 300 or more They will give Rs 51 x 7 vouchers.

Sandy
Sandy

This was bound to happen.

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