The premium user base of incumbent telcos–Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India—could be early adopters of the high-speed broadband services by Reliance Jio Infocomm, according to brokerage firm CLSA. The brokerage firm said that the launch of Reliance Jio’s 4G services could pose the biggest threat to the market shares of these telcos.
“As high-ARPU subscribers are likely to be early adopters of 4G, the two highest-ARPU operators are at a higher market share risk with new entrant Reliance Jio’s launch of 4G services,” CLSA said in a note.
Bharti Airtel not only has comparable spectrum to Reliance Jio to defend its turf, but also has launched its own 4G services, the firm said, adding Vodafone is more vulnerable to lose market share due to Jio launch, given it possesses limited 4G spectrum.
Airtel has already launched 4G services in over 300 towns, while Vodafone launched in Kochi, Kerala, recently, and plans to expand to the metros by the end of the year. Reliance Industries Limited will officially launch its telecom venture, Jio, on December 27. The launch however initially will be restricted to its employees, and their families. The brokerage said that only 93 million mobile users, or 9% of subscribers in India, have 3G connections.
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The top-five markets-Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu-have twice as much 3G penetration than the remaining 17 markets, and also 40% higher ARPU versus the industry average, CLSA said.