Analysts have projected that Reliance Jio will likely have 400 million subscribers under its umbrella by March 2020. The Mukesh Ambani led telco will probably have 150 million JioPhone users by that time with the most representation from the rural market, analysts said. It is no surprise that Reliance Jio has benefitted exceptionally well from its competitive product offerings targeted towards rural India. The officials also said that Reliance Industries, which is Reliance Jio’s parent company might even start selling a mix of digital-telecom retail products or content services in the coming time.
Reliance Jio Becomes RIL’s Biggest Bet
As per an ET report, CLSA has estimated that specifically, Reliance Jio’s subscriber base will touch the 414 million figure by the end of FY 2019. To give you a better picture, the projected subscriber base of Reliance Jio will almost be equal to the 45% of the Indian populating belonging to the 14-80 years age group. The firm has also revealed that the telecom business of Reliance Jio is likely to contribute 80% of the total EBITDA to the parent company Reliance Industries. To recall, Trai’s report published about subscriber base also reported that by June-end Reliance Jio’s subscriber base boasted of 215 million subscribers.
WhatsApp Support Will Increase JioPhone Demand
BNP Paribas remarked that Reliance Jio is doing exceptionally well in rural markets of India citing the success of JioPhone which has managed to garner 25 million unit sales by June 2018. In a note seen by ET, CLSA said, “The Reliance-controlled Kai-OS operating system of the JioPhone can be particularly used to leverage Jio’s high customer engagement to open up advertisement revenue opportunities.”
The JioPhone has been one of the most contributing factors in Reliance Jio’s meteoric rise. With 25 million units already sold, the JioPhone users are expected to rise when Jio avails the popular messaging application WhatsApp on its feature phone device. As per the data collected, in the previous months, as much as eight devices out of every ten sold under the Rs 1,500 price mark were JioPhones. Reliance Jio has said that WhatsApp support for JioPhone will be rolled out on September 20.
Jio’s OTT Platforms Ripe for Monetisation: Analysts
Brokerage IIFL Institutional Equities has remarked that the small screen size of the JioPhone has presented no hindrance as rural users have been known to spend more than an hour watching videos daily. The firm further said, “data consumption is likely to rise once WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube apps are available”.
Reliance Retail, the company which launched the JioPhone, revealed that “the number of voice commands used on a JioPhone now surpasses that on a smartphone by as many as five times.” Analysts have also said that Reliance Jio’s applications like Jio TV, Jio Cinema, Jio Music, Saavn, Jio Mags, Jio Chat to Jio Money will be ready for monetisation as the users of Reliance Jio have been known to use over 10GBs of data per month.
Vikas Jain, the telecom analyst, expects Reliance also to beef up “the e-commerce extension of its established organised retail business in coming months, which would allow it to take a bigger share of the consumer’s wallet via its omnichannel grocery, fashion and digital retail offerings”.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.