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JioPhone Diwali offer drives subscriber growth for Jio in October: Analysts

Morgan Stanley in its analysis based on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) data said that Jio’s monthly wireless broadband subscriber additions of 9.1mn in October were higher than its monthly addition run rate of 8mn in H1F20, primarily aided by JioPhone Diwali offer.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2019, 04.06 PM IST
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Jio captured 31% active subs market share in October.
NEW DELHI: Mukesh Ambani -led telecom operator Reliance Jio widened its subscriber base by 9.1 million in October 2019 which can be attributed to the company’s JioPhone Diwali offer that allows potential buyers to purchase JioPhone at a special price of Rs 699, analysts said on Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley in its analysis based on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) data said that Jio’s monthly wireless broadband subscriber additions of 9.1mn in October were higher than its monthly addition run rate of 8mn in H1F20, primarily aided by JioPhone Diwali offer.

Jio added 14.4mn Visitor Location Register (VLR) subscribers in October, the highest since February 2018. Out of Jio’s VLR adds, 48% came from Bihar, J&K, Madhya Pradesh and UP (W). “This strong gross subscriber addition of 9.1mn can be partially attributed to JioPhone Diwali offer,” financial services provider Emkay Global said in a press note.

On a similar note, ICICI Securities in its analysis said, “We believe the rise is on account of Jiophone offer, which drove net adds to 9.1mn and rise in active subs as percentage of total subs to 83.5% (from 81.6% in September 2019).”

For the industry overall, VLR subscribers increased – after seven straight months of decline – by 20.3mn in October 2019 as compared to a decline of 9.4mn in September 2019 and 50mn over April 2018-September 2019.

Bharti’s VLR subscribers grew by 6.8mn, of which 2.1mn were from J&K. The telco’s active subs growth was strong on normalisation of J&K situation, reduction in competitive intensity and probable benefit from Jio charging for off-net outgoing calls, analysts said.

Vodafone Idea’s subscriber loss moderated to 1mn from an average monthly loss of 10mn subscribers since December 2018. Monthly broadband subscriber additions for Airtel and Vodafone Idea accelerated, with the latter adding the highest subscribers over the last 10 months.

“A moderation in VIL’s subscriber loss is the key, while the trend sustenance will be watched out. The subscription data of November 2019 should show the impact of IUC top-up vouchers on Jio’s subscriber additions trend, if any,” Emkay Global stated.

Since its formation via the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular in September 2018, Vodafone Idea has lost 106mn active subscribers, ICICI Securities noted.

Jio captured 31% active subs market share in October while Airtel’s market share was at 31.5% and Vodafone Idea’s dipped to 30.8%. ICICI Securities said that the recent tariff hike of 20-40% will lead to SIM consolidation, probably from December 2019.

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