The numbers are in from the analysts about the telecom industry’s growth and subscriber addition along with revenue in recent times, and it appears that the telecom companies have not been able to beat the lockdown. Despite the talk of heavy data usage for work from home and online classes, it seems that the telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea, will see lukewarm responses in terms of subscriber addition and revenues both. The predictions that we are talking about referring to the first quarter of FY22. The multiple ripple effect which carries from last year still persists. However, the local lockdowns have added to the telecom woes, which have worsened with stagnant sales of new smartphones and free recharges, which became the norm given the low-income household situations.
Subscriber Growth to Slow Down
To recall, 2020 and part of 2021 have been tainted with the free recharges, which a lot of telecom companies have handed over to their subscribers to stay connected in the pandemic. As per JM Financial, the ARPU growth will remain “subdued” in Q1 FY22, similar to the first quarter of the last financial year. The firm also noted that most of the subscriber addition have happened in the June 2021 month on the back of the reopening of markets and the economy, since that’s when people started buying recharges again along with new smartphones. Similar to this, in FY22, Bharti Airtel is expected to add 2 million new subscribers, whereas Reliance Jio has been predicted to add 8 million subscribers. At the same time, Vodafone Idea will likely churn out 7 million subscribers from its base.
Revenue Growth Also Shy of Huge Numbers
As for the revenue growth, ICICI Securities, another financial firm, reported that Reliance Jio would witness appreciable growth of 3.8% QoQ on the back of strong JioPhone sales and the JioPhone plans which were introduced in 2021. Whereas, for Bharti Airtel, the same figure will likely be at 1.5% QoQ. On the other hand, Vodafone Idea’s revenue might be seen slipping by 1.4% QoQ. Overall, the performance of the telco is going to be shying away from high numbers because of the slow smartphone sales, lockdown and the free recharges handed over to middle-class households.