What is Reliance Jio’s share of the telecom market?
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s financial data report for the September quarter gives a glimpse of how much share Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has captured just a year after it started operations.
Based on reported gross revenue numbers, Jio accounted for a 14.5% share of India’s wireless telecom market in the second quarter (Q2). But there is an element of double counting with gross revenues, as it includes payments made to (and received from) other operators for roaming arrangements and for termination. To that extent, it makes more sense to look at adjusted gross revenues (AGR), which captures net revenues accruing to each company. Based on reported AGR numbers, Jio had a 13.9% share of the market last quarter.
Of course, this is overstated because a portion of Jio’s revenues related to the June quarter was recognized in Q2. BNP Paribas Securities India Pvt. Ltd said in a note to clients, “Jio’s gross revenue market share (RMS) was 14.5% in 2Q18 as it booked revenue for two quarters in 2Q18. Its 1H18 RMS of 8.7% is a more meaningful number.”
While this may be true, it is a rather redundant number to work with, since Jio has increased tariffs twice since July and is adding customers at a relatively fast clip. New customers are now signing up at an Arpu (average revenue per user) of Rs160 or so after including a proportionate share of the Prime membership (valid only till March 2018). Even old customers are now generating an Arpu of around Rs130 for the company, based on the tariff for the flagship 84-day plan.
Jio had reported revenues of Rs6,140 crore for the September quarter, with an implied paid subscriber base of around 131 million. Assuming that base is now generating an Arpu of Rs130, and that new subscribers (roughly six million a month) are coming in at Rs160, Jio should end up with revenues of Rs6,000 crore in the December quarter as well.
Revenues of incumbents, meanwhile, are still declining, as a higher share of subscribers adjust to lower tariff plans, as well as due to the 57% cut in interconnect usage charges. As such, Jio may end up with an even higher market share in Q3 than what was reported in Q2.
Eventually, most analysts expect Jio, Bharti Airtel Ltd and the Vodafone-Idea combine to corner 30-32% of the market each, with the remaining in the hands of public sector companies. But the pace at which Jio is headed towards that number is clearly taking most people by surprise.