An analysis by brokerage firm Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) says that Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are better placed in the telecom space than many other players given their lead in spectrum, cell sites as well as fiber on network. Reliance Jio had launched its 4G services officially earlier this month taking the telecom world by storm. Airtel, one of its main competitors has been introducing offers to compete with Reliance Jio s free calls and cheap internet data. CLSA forecasts a 6 percent compound annual growth rate for mobile subscriber numbers to reach 1.2 billion with 91 percent overall penetrations and 65 percent rural penetration over FY16-18. Also Read - Reliance JioFiber plans with free Voot Select subscription: Check plans, price, and other benefitsAlso Read - Airtel introduces new postpaid plans with more data, refreshes Family postpaid plans too
We maintain that Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are better placed given their lead in spectrum, cell sites as well as fibre on network and key will be Reliance Jio subscriber retention starting January 2017, the analysis by CLSA said. Though 3G and 4G adoption is driving metro subscriber additions, penetration is still low at 20 percent, implying further growth potential. In the changing competitive landscape, operators with higher 3G/4G capacity are favorably placed, CLSA said. In the coming months, Jio’s offer of free unlimited voice and data on 4G (until December 2016) will likely impact incumbents’ subscriber additions but it is also likely to accelerate mobile data adoption and expand data market further, the analysis added.
CLSA had recently predicted that data revenues for telecom operators will double to $11 billion by 2017-18, and the entry of Reliance Jio would drive the market further and be best placed with Bharti Airtel to gain from the upcoming boom. In its latest report, CLSA also says even as existing operators have begun to focus on content, the key differentiator will be network delivery, or the quality and download speed areas that had intensified ahead of Reliance Jio s entry.