NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has been reversing the trend as far as subscriber numbers are concerned over these past few months, beating its rivals more often than not, but data from sector regulator TRAI shows that Reliance Jio continues to gain revenue market share even as both Airtel and Vodafone saw this metric fall in the October-December quarter.
TRAI data shows that Jio increased its share of the revenue market to 39.3 per cent during the quarter, against 38.3 per cent recorded in the previous quarter. In contrast, rival Airtel saw its revenue market fall to 31.3 per cent from 31.6 per cent seen in the previous quarter.
Vi’s market share contracted to 20.8 per cent from 20.9 per cent during the same period. For Vi, Emkay Securities says that the RMS contraction “does not paint a healthy picture”. The increased competition for RMS may also play a role in the timing of the long-expected tariff hike.
In terms of the entire market, TRAI data showed that net mobile revenues grew 4.5 per cent quarter on quarter to an annualised $25 billion. “This is in line with the peak levels seen before Jio’s entry. Recovery in sector revenues weakens the case for floor tariffs since revenue pressure was the key reason cited for introducing floor tariffs,” said a report from Jefferies.
The quarter also saw a reversal of the recent trend of traffic being driven by rural subscribers. In the quarter ended December, TRAI data shows that revenue growth was driven by urban-centric markets with metros and A-Circles reporting a 10 per cent and 5 per cent QoQ increase respectively.
Rural centric B-Circle and C-Circles reported a slower 3-4 per cent QoQ growth respectively. “We see Jio and Bharti Airtel as well-placed to benefit from sector growth; the latter has 4G penetration at 54 per cent of its total mobile subscribers and ARPU 10-24 per cent ahead of peers,” CLSA said in a note.