Despite Reliance Jio’s attempt to rake in as many customers as possible from Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, these three leaders have still continued to show positive results. Specifically Airtel has shown a growth in Q3 2016 as compared to the previous quarters.
Bharti Airtel has grabbed the largest revenue market share amongst all telcos, at 33%, which is also a seven year highest for the company. In spite of a month overlap with Reliance Jio, the company realised a good market share over the last quarter.
The analysts note that the reason Airtel has shown such strong results is because of the strength of swift data network rollouts and a superior 3G/4G spectrum mix. Airtel introduced its ‘Open Network’ policy that none of the other telcos, except Reliance Jio, bothered to release.
As compared to the previous quarter, Airtel’s revenue market share(RMS) grew by 20 basis points(bps) to 33%. Compared to this, the RMS of Vodafone and Idea is 23.5% and 18.8%. Vodafone has shown a growth of 10 bps, while Idea has shown a decline of 50bps.
This has been evident in the launch of 4G by Idea cellular across its circles in the country. On the other hand, Vodafone has been swift in pursuing its customers to upgrade to 4G, and has been launching competitive plans to take on the market leader.
One cannot deny the fact that Reliance Jio’s entry impacted Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular in their data services and revenues. Vodafone added data points in its 4G circles in the country, and will be seen to improve its RMS in the future.
Will Reliance Jio take over Airtel?
Bharti Airtel has a lot of strong circles, with the most efficient spectrum for 4G. It also enjoys monopoly in a few cities and towns, and the infrastructure is slightly better than its competitors. Having said that, there are a few issues plaguing Airtel subscribers that continue to mar its popularity.
Jio’s welcome offer will be there till the end of this year, and in places where Airtel is doing well, a Jio sim card is primarily being used as a secondary one for data. In smaller towns and villages, where Airtel might not be strong, Jio is taking over other telcos. Overall, Jio might not overtake Airtel’s market share, but will take a significant bite from its share.
However, once the welcome offer is rolled back, there will be a dip seen in Airtel’s RMS as more and more subscribers shift to Jio. Not only with the RMS come down, it is expected to drop by around 400 bps in the next two years.