Reliance Jio, India's number one telecom operator, is likely going to poach more customers of Vodafone Idea than Bharti Airtel with 5G. This is primarily because of the better in-building coverage that Jio will be able to offer to consumers because of having sub-GHz spectrum for 5G. BofA Securities, in a note to the clients, said Jio and Airtel are estimated to spend around $9.1 billion and $7.7 billion in 5G capex between FY23-25. Note that this excludes the 5G spectrum costs. According to an ET Telecom report, Vodafone Idea's market share will be captured by Jio and Airtel on account of higher 5G capex, said the analyst.
Airtel's 5G Capex to be Lower as it is Going for 5G NSA
Reliance Jio has made it clear that it wants to launch 5G SA and not go for 5G NSA like the other operators. That is why BofA Securities has estimated that Jio's total 5G capex would be higher than Airtel's. Jio will also be spending money on CPE (Consumer Premise Equipment), which will be used to connect some 100 million households through fibre and/or through the FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) broadband service.
Jio is likely going to be the largest 5G service provider in India as it is with 4G. The telco is going to benefit from the presence of the sub-GHz spectrum and is also going to deploy 5G SA, which no one else is doing. The high-end customers of Vodafone Idea might leave for Bharti Airtel and Jio.
Reliance Jio has also promised to reach every town in India with 5G by December 2023. It is merely a year away. Jio will start deploying 5G this year by the festive season of Diwali. Initially, only select cities will get the 5G services from Jio and later on, Jio will expand the reach of 5G to other parts of India.