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Reliance Jio beats Idea to become 3rd largest telecom operator

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm has left behind Kumar Birla-led Idea cellular to become third largest telecom operator by revenue market share.

One year and seven months old firm’s revenue market share touched to almost 20 per cent as of March end, said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) financial data. Jio is reported to have No. 1 or No. 2 position in 18 circles and has over 25 per cent AGR market share in 15 circles.

Whereas Idea market share went down to 16.5 per cent. Vodafone share increased to 21 per cent. Airtel kept leading position with 32 per cent market share.

However, the scenario might change as Idea and Vodafone gets to close their much-awaited merger this month.

If the merger is through, the combined network will become a leader with 37 percent market share.

Jio, which started operations in September 2016 with a nationwide 4G network, reported an over 18 per cent sequential jump in adjusted gross revenue (including national long distance revenue) to Rs 6,300 crore the quarter ended March. Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea suffered sequential falls of 5.5per cent, 4.8 per cent and 8.8 per cent on this score to Rs 10,100 crore, Rs 6,700 crore and Rs 5,200 crore, respectively, added an ET report quoting ICICI Securities.

Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea witnessed downfall led to about 19 per cent decline in the industry’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

Meanwhile, Jio has its continued focus on expanding its subscriber base, via tariff cuts, offers, and free Jio Prime membership.

Last month, Jio also started its postpaid offer to increase its user base.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) for pre-paid customers is about Rs 150. Whereas ARPU for postpaid customers is about Rs 500 per month. Jio’s ARPU was the highest at Rs 137. Airtel’s ARPU was Rs 116 whereas Idea’s was Rs 105, as per TRAI report. According to an industry estimate, postpaid accounts for around 25 percent telecom revenue.

Last year Jio’s AGR climbed to Rs 7,466 crore, a steep rise from a recorded loss of Rs 303 crores in 2016.

As on March 2018, Jio claims to have around 186.6 million subscribers. To achieve 99 per cent population coverage, Jio services are further extended in the existing areas within the fiscal year period of 2018-2019.

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