Reliance Jio is offering the cheapest-ever 4G data plans, effectively priced zero JioPhone, and a range of incredible freebies which has helped it garner over 160 million subscribers since its commercial launch in September 2016. Yet, the Mukesh Ambani-owned telecom service is not the preference when it comes to the mobile number portability (MNP).
According to a study conducted by Kotak Institutional Equities, Reliance Jio is not the preferred destination of subscribers changing operators. The operator had a net 3.8 million subscribers who opted out of other networks at the end of October, which forms a very small section of the company’s overall users.
This trend, as the study analyzed, indicates that Jio is not the primary number for a good proportion of its subscribers and a large number of its customers continue to additionally use the services of rival operators, ET reports.
The analysis further showed that Jio’s net port-in pace increased to about 0.7 million per month between June 2017 and October 2017 from about 0.1 million per month between September 2016 and June 2017.
“It is important to note that until end-March 2017, Jio’s services were free and the customers did not really have to make a ‘which operator gets my spend’ choice. Once Jio started charging in April 2017, the customer has had to make a choice between similarly priced bundles of Jio and the incumbents,” the study found.
Kotak Institutional Equities report suggests that Bharti Airtel lags Idea and Vodafone on cumulative net MNP gains. Since Jio’s launch, it had led with 9.1 million net gains, compared with 6 million for Vodafone and 5.4 million for Idea. While the gross port-outs have increased for Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular in recent months, the net port-ins continue to be positive.
Bharti Airtel’s performance against Idea and Vodafone picked pace between June 2017 and October 2017 when Airtel gained a net 5 million subscribers against 2 million each for the other two operators.
Meanwhile, data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggests that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, and Jio were the only net gainers from mobile number portability. Idea topped with 25 million net gains, followed by Vodafone and Airtel with 19.4 million and 18.4 million, respectively. Other operators lost a net 66.6 million subscribers, including 21.5 million users from Reliance Communications, 15 million from Tata Teleservices, 13.1 million from Aircel and 6.6 million from Telenor.
The results are not surprising given how a lot of Jio users have subscribed to the service only for the affordable internet as call connectivity is spotty across regions. In a country like India where dual-SIM smartphones are the trend, it is natural for users to have one SIM dedicated to internet usage and the second SIM for regular calling. As for Jio, the operator now aims to extend its services to the enterprise sector after invading the consumer space.