The latest telecom entrant in the industry, Reliance Jio has officially surpassed the former Market leader Bharti Airtel in terms of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) as per the latest Trai report. The industry regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) published data about the quarter ending in June where it was apparent that the Mukesh Ambani led telco has managed to race past Bharti Airtel to establish itself as one of the most prominent companies in the Indian telecom sector.
Reliance Jio Ahead of Competition in AGR
The Trai report data highlighted that Reliance Jio’s recorded AGR from access services or revenue derived from licensed services was Rs 7,125 crore for June which was up by 14.6%. On the other hand, Airtel noted a decline of 5.1% in its AGR to Rs 6,723 crore. Similarly, Reliance Jio had also surpassed Vodafone India and Idea Cellular individually in the January-March quarter, but now both the companies have merged to form Vodafone Idea Ltd, the present market leader in telecom. However, in the pre-merger situation, Vodafone’s AGR had declined 9.2% down to Rs 4483.68 crore, as was the case with Idea which reported a 7.2% decline in AGR which touched Rs 3,743.12 crore, with the combined AGR of both the companies being Rs 8,226 crore. Besides Reliance Jio, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was the only telecom operator to register a positive growth of 6.8% in AGR which was pegged at 2,273 crores for the state-owned telco.
Reliance Jio Likely to Surpass Vodafone Idea
According to the industry experts and analysts, if Reliance Jio continues on the same path at the same growth rate, then there is a solid chance that the Mukesh Ambani led telco might also surpass the newly merged, Vodafone Idea Ltd. To recall, way back in 2016, the entry of Reliance Jio into the market in September month had shaken the industry from bottom up. The extreme competition started by the telco eroded revenue for most telcos, drove many companies to losses and also launched a consolidation spree which ended with the Idea Vodafone merger.
License Fee and SUC Decline for Govt
The positive AGR registered by BSNL and Reliance Jio also contributed to the industry’s overall AGR which was noted to grow by 2.4% and rested at Rs 35,552 crores during the April-June quarter. This was also a climb upwards as compared to the last two quarters where the overall industry AGR declined consecutively. Also, a decline was seen in the license fee collection at 0.11% to Rs 2,929 crore for the June quarter, the spectrum usage charge also fell by 2.21% to Rs 1,023 crore in the same time window. This was majorly owing to the falling AGR, on which the SUC and license fee collection are based on.
The monthly average revenue per user also fell by 8.92% from Rs 76 in the March quarter to Rs 69 in the June quarter. With low rates and free voice calling, the minutes of usage per subscriber has shot up to 608 minutes per month up from the 584 minutes per month which was the recorded number in March 2018.
Bharti Airtel Still on Top for Market Share
As far as subscriber base goes, Vodafone Idea stood ahead of every other player with 443.5 million subscribers and 37.9% of the market share. Secondly, Bharti Airtel (including Telenor and Tata) came on the second spot with 32.26% market share along with 377 million subscribers. Reliance Jio took the third spot with 215 million subscribers and 18.42% market share.