The quarterly results for all the three private telecom companies in India are out now. If you have focused on the results, you know the best ARPU (average revenue per user) is of Bharti Airtel. Jio is not too far from Airtel, to be honest. What if Jio's tariffs were as high as Airtels? Would it mean that Jio would have had the best ARPU? Let's not go into assuming things right now; let's take a look at the hardcore numbers revealed by the companies themselves.
Airtel's ARPU for Q1 Fy23 was Rs 183, as expected by the analysts. It is the industry-leading figure for now and places Airtel as the player with the most premium customers, in a way. Airtel offers expensive tariffs compared to its top competitor Jio and justifies the prices by saying that it only wants to keep premium and high-paying customers on its network.
Vodafone Idea ARPU
Vodafone Idea's ARPU for Q1 FY23 was Rs 128. Now that doesn't sound great, does it? Well, that's about it. Vodafone Idea's ARPU is currently the lowest in the industry, and if things don't change fast, it is going to take the company multiple rounds of tariff hikes to even reach the Rs 200 ARPU figure.
Reliance Jio ARPU
Jio's ARPU for Q1 Fy23 was Rs 175.7, which is very close to what Airtel delivered. It is a marginal difference, and even though Jio's ARPU is lesser, its overall revenues are much higher and a much better net profit figure as well. Jio is undoubtedly the market leader by a long margin.
Just to put things into perspective, for Q1 FY23, Jio's net profit was Rs 4,530 crore, Airtel's net profit was Rs 1,607 crore, while Vodafone Idea reported a loss of Rs 7,297 crore. Things are not very good for Vodafone Idea, and the company needs to do something about it as soon as possible before the investors lose interest.
One of the biggest pain points for Vodafone Idea has been the inability to raise funds from external investors. The Indian government delaying the process of equity conversion in the company is also not helping. Vi needs to take the capex spending level to where Airtel and Jio are so that it can compete in an equal manner.
Vodafone Idea has devised its own strategy to keep the focus on particular circles for running the business and earn as much revenue as possible. The telco is basically not very excited about the Category-C circles, even with 5G, except for Bihar.