Industry, led by incumbents Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, has been demanding rationalisation of taxes and levies since long, saying a relief would further enable them to spend more on deploying infrastructure.
The auction for over 2300 MHz of airwaves - valued at Ras3.92 lakh crore at base price - is likely to see limited bidding intensity for spectrum worth less than Rs50,000 crore, with Jio and Airtel expected to be the main players.
Jio’s pan-India IoT network—based on narrowband IoT technology—is already operational. It was launched in partnership with South Korean electronics and smartphones giant Samsung.
Vodafone Idea (Vi), financially the weakest of the three private telcos, is said to have put in less than Rs 500 crore, which would enable it to buy spectrum worth ₹2,500-3,500 crore, only in some bands and some circles.
In September last year, Jio had unleashed new, cheaper post-paid plans in a concerted bid to grab the higher-paying customers of India's older telcos. But the leading telco has so far been unable to rock Bharti Airtel’s boat on this score, said analysts.
If Jio wants to show good profitability, it can consider increasing pricing. Bharti and Vodafone are anyway eager to increase ARPU. So, that could be a game changer for Jio as well as both Vodafone and Bharti Airtel, says Abhimanyu Sofat
The company’s energy business was the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic given that the demand for transportation fuel sank due to international travel ban and most people choosing to stay at home.
The country’s largest telecom operator by subscriber base reported average revenue per user of Rs 151, which was higher than analysts’ estimate of Rs 148-150. In the previous quarter, the company reported Rs 145 in average revenue per user.
Brokerage firm Axis Capital observed that "RJio reported QoQ market share improvement, while Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi) and BSNL posted a decline".
The Nokia Bell Labs 5G Certification Program will offer professionals across the information and communications technology (ICT) industry two levels of certification – Associate and Professional – that deliver essential knowledge covering everything from the basics of 5G networks to professional level planning and design.
As far as Vodafone Idea is concerned, to a certain extent, the uncertainties about its survival are over though the fundraising part is a huge challenge , says the Inditrade Capital Group Chairman.
An OpenRAN (O-RAN) board member, Airtel said that it will leverage Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platforms – which runs on the cloud - to rollout virtualized and Open-RAN 5G networks in India.
Analysts estimate 275 units of airwaves in the 3.3-3.6 Ghz bands to be available in a near-term 5G auction and expect the government to cut overall reserve prices by 30-40% in a follow-up sale as a sizeable chunk of airwaves are likely to stay unsold in the upcoming 4G sale, starting March 1.
Any decision on Qualcomm supporting the Jio-Google smartphone or its 400-series Snapdragon chipsets being in play in the budget smartphone would be “confidential to Jio and Google”, Qualcomm India President Rajen Vagadia says.
NEC recently set up an Open RAN laboratory in India as a complement to its Center of Excellence (CoE) in the U.K to accelerate development of the 5G open ecosystem.
The EMD size is indicative of a telco’s bidding strategy as it gives an operator eligibility points, based on which it can target a certain quantum of airwaves. The upcoming auction for nearly 2300 units of airwaves across seven 4G bands – from 700 Mhz to 2500 Mhz – are valued at Rs 3.92 lakh-crore at base price.
There could be some consolidation in the market which would be a good entry opportunity for investors looking at the commodity space, says Head of Retail Research, MOFSL
The telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai) posted a 9-month high decline of 5.7 million in Vi’s gross subscribers to 284 million, whereas active users felly by 1.5 million to 26.3 million. Meanwhile, as per Vi’s October-December quarter results, its gross mobile subscribers fell only by 2 million. The company reported 270 million subscribers at December-end.
Airtel gained 4.05 million wireless subscribers against Jio’s 0.47 million while struggling Vi once again lost nearly 5.7 million users in December, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data released on Thursday.
There are a lot of mobile plans floating in the market today. We help you choose the best from the not-so-best. For instance, the Rs 598 plan from Reliance Jio offers the validity of 56 days. The plan offers 112GB data with subscription to popular streaming services. A comparatively better plan for Reliance Jio users is Rs 599 plan. It is valid for the period of 84 days and offers 168GB data.
It is only the telecom vertical which will drive Reliance ahead as the petrochemicals or the oil to chemicals business is in a steady state, says the retail research head of SBICAP Sec.
COAI, which represents telcos Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, said that apps don’t have any obligation to ensure privacy, while telcos need to adhere to strict conditions on confidentiality and protection of privacy of communication.
The telco reported a narrower net loss for the quarter, while its key parameters such as average revenue per user, minutes of use and subscriber base continued to trail rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. Its shares closed 2.3% lower at Rs11.80 on the BSE Tuesday.
Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, on Monday, submitted in its plea that "vested" interests are engaged in spreading "false rumours" against it and that the petitioner, its parent company and its affiliates had no plans to enter corporate or contract farming.
Bharti Airtel itself has pivoted into a technology company, he said, and has emerged stronger from a bloody tariff battle since the entry of Reliance Jio in September 2016, with a roughly 35% revenue market share, its highest ever.
They added that the deceleration in Vi’s subscriber losses was also helped by Reliance Jio’s lowest-ever net user adds in the fiscal third quarter amid the slowdown in the market leader’s JioPhone customer gains.
Net mobile subscriber additions slowed to 5.2 million after users left the network due to what the company called “recent malicious and motivated campaigns” against the Reliance Group in some parts of the country.
Loss making Vodafone idea’s shares closed down 2.8% at Rs12.54 on the BSE Friday, while the Airtel stock ended 2% lower at Rs586.55. Reliance Jio isn’t listed.
Loss-making Vodafone idea’s shares closed down 2.8% at Rs12.54 on the BSE Friday, while the Airtel stock ended 2% lower at Rs586.55. Reliance Jio isn’t listed.
Looking at all the three divisions of Reliance Industries, the stock is here to perform well, says market expert Sushil Choksey.
The year also saw nine other deals value over USD 1 billion each, it said, adding that the top deals accounted for nearly two-thirds of the overall activity.
Jio alleged that the acts of vandalism were instigated by “business rivals” - who in this case are Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi).
US-based investment firm Oak Hill is leading the consortium, which includes GoldenTree Asset Management, Pacific Investment Management Co, Sixth Street, Twin Point Capital and Varde Partners to provide an around $2 billion (Rs 14,600 cr) credit line to Vi.
With its telecom infrastructure in the state being damaged during farmers' protest, Reliance Jio has written to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh seeking his intervention for action against those responsible for the incidents of "sabotage and vandalism".
Airtel overtakes Reliance Jio in active user market share in October amid intense fight for subscribers
Vi, though, continued to suffer the most on this score, losing 1.2 million active users in October, dragging its overall active user base down to 260 million. The Indo-UK telecom joint venture between Britain’s Vodafone Plc and the Aditya Birla Group, lost 20 million active users since April this year.
Among other highlights, Fitch expects industry monthly ARPU (average realisation per user) to grow by 5-10 per cent in 2021-22 as 2G and 3G customers gradually upgrade to pricier 4G plans.
The earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of the two rivals will be further propelled by higher tariffs, shift of customers to 4G and a data usage of 12GB-16GB per user per month as more subscribers work remotely, due to the pandemic.
There are a lot of niches in the Indian as well as MNC FMCG companies and these are safe bets to invest in for the next two, three and even five years.
The fintech industry hailed the Delhi High Court order on TRAI, as inadequate monitoring had allowed fraudsters to send fake messages under duplicate SMS headers.
Airtel’s latest fundraise plans come on a day India’s second-largest telco returned to the black on the back of a one-time gain related to the recent merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers and strong addition of data users which led to record revenue.
The high court also directed the telecom service providers (TSPs), which included state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone, to ensure they strictly comply with the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preferences Regulations (TCCCPR) 2018 issued by Trai.
A TV report on Wednesday had reported that the DoT had moved the too court seeking clarification.
The Joint Committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, chaired by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, questioned Reliance Jio executives about privacy of data of its subscribers and users of Jio platforms.
Digital company Jio Platforms, which also houses telecom business Jio Infocomm and e-commerce venture JioMart, is the 67% controlled subsidiary of Ambani’s Reliance Industries. It has raised $20.6 bn from 13 investors in 12 weeks including America’s tech giants Facebook and Google.
The rate of additions in fixed broadband business, however, remains "slower than expectations" despite the recent reduction in entry-level plans by the industry, Kotak Institutional Equities said in its latest report citing TRAI subscriber data.
Earlier, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked telecom operators to give one year notice before starting any technology using spectrum across the seven frequency bands that will be offered in auction on March 1.
Indian telecom operators said that the current availability of just 175 MHz for all service providers in the 3300-3600 mid band is "grossly inadequate" and would adversely impact the 5G rollout in the country.
"Despite only being founded in 2016, Jio has quickly become the largest mobile network operator in India and the third largest mobile network operator in the world with almost 400 million subscribers," it said in a statement on Thursday.
“25 years back, we were far behind the developed world in the area of telecommunications. Today we have made considerable progress, but yet not where we need to be,” Sanjay Mashruwala said. Jio is currently working on developing its own end-to-end 5G products and solutions and will soon conduct pilot upon availability of trial spectrum.
According to analysts, loss-making Vi’s net worth is a negative ₹26,699.8 crore. The telco has never posted a profit since its formation through the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular in August 2018, and has been rapidly losing subscribers to rivals, mainly as it trails Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio in 4G coverage.
Executives of telecom operators confirmed the directive and said that they are switching services to 2G in many parts of the region, while in some areas they are completely suspending internet services.
Jio added a net 5.2 million users in the quarter compared with 7.3 million in the September quarter and 10 million in the June quarter of FY21. Its monthly churn rate for wireless subscribers rose from a modest 0.46% in the June quarter to 1.69% in the September quarter and 1.63% in October-December.
The decline in FDI inflows was concentrated in developed countries, where fund flows fell by 69 per cent to an estimated $229 billion.
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the body representing companies such as Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, expressed reservations on the government’s spectrum pricing strategy and raised fears that much of the airwaves may remain unsold, like in some of the previous rounds.
Currently, telcos can offer services based on any technology on any airwave but need to intimate the DoT a year in advance if they plan to start a service based on a new technology on a particular spectrum band.
Telcos want government to clarify onus of security breach post NSD rollout, ensure price competitiveness
The telecom operators have given their input to the government in a meeting called by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) about one-and-a-half weeks back, industry sources told .
In their meetings with security officials as part of the process to identify trusted sources for telecom equipment, telcos urged the government to ensure an adequate number of vendors to keep costs in check, while also seeking clarifications around maintenance, upgrade and repair of already installed equipment.
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate reported a consolidated revenues of Rs 1.2 lakh crore, up 21.10 per cent year-on-year.
Latest data put out by the telecom regulator showed all the Big 3 telcos – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – notched sequential AGR gains in the September quarter.
“In this challenging time, the industry also faces major upcoming expenses on infrastructure upgradation like spectrum auction, 5G introduction, network expansion and fiberisation, which is very critical for providing future communication services,” SP Kochhar, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, said in a statement detailing the sector’s budget recommendations.
ET had reported in November that the telecom regulator had imposed penalties collectively amounting to Rs 35 crore on eight operators including Bharti Airtel, Voda-Idea, Jio and BSNL for violation of TCCCPR on various counts, which allowed cyber criminals to issue fake SMSes.
Reliance Jio, too, has sent messages to fixed line users urging them to ensure that they prefix 0 when dialling any mobile number from a fixed line number.
According to the brokerage, Reliance Industries will garner over 500 million users over the next 3-5 years, offer broadband services to 20-25 million households and cater to 12-15 million small businesses.
Bharti Airtel on Wednesday informed customers that “effective January 15, it would be “mandatory to prefix `0’ before the mobile number while dialling from a landline," as per a DoT directive. Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, state-run BSNL and MTNL are likely to do the same.
HFCL Limited, one of the top two India's optic fibre makers, is planning to increase Fibre-to-the-Home or FTTH cable production by 33% at its Hyderabad facility following the robust domestic and overseas demand, and a Rs 7,500-crore order book.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) sources said telcos, including Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, attended the pre-bid conference on Tuesday. The department has now asked the operators to send their written queries on the issues raised at the pre-bid conference by January 15.
Yesterday, the RBI took steps on the reverse repo side to try and move out some liquidity from the markets, points out Ajay Bagga
While the average proportion of time that Jio users spent connected to 4G has increased by 0.5 of a percentage point since the last report to reach an impressive 98.7 per cent, Airtel saw its score increase by 1.1 percentage points. As a consequence, Jio's lead has dropped from 3.7 percentage points to 3.1.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) measures the realisation per subscriber and is a key monitorable metric for telecom firms.
Credit Suisse further expects Reliance Jio to purchase additional spectrum beyond expiring airwaves as it will look to augment its network capacity, having garnered 35% subscriber market share and a much higher share of traffic. It added that Bharti Airtel has 12 MHz and 47 MHz of spectrum expiring across 900 and 1800 MHz bands respectively.
In terms of latency, Airtel was the most responsive network with a delay of 24 millisecond, followed by Vi’s 26.5 millisecond and Jio’s 28.5 milliseconds. Latency is a measure of round-trip delay in transfer of each data packet from source to destination.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are unlikely to renew most of their airwaves, given their surplus holdings. The upcoming auction between three telcos is expected to be tepid as analysts say it is a buyer's market and Jio is expected to be the largest contender.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio say that any move to give non-telecom companies access to 5G spectrum bands without auction would put at risk billions of dollars of their investments and upset the level playing field in the sector.
BSNL last week floated a new tender, inviting expressions of interest et b(EoI) for installation of around 57,000 4G sites across north, east, west and south zones.
Anaysts say while India's smartphone market achieved sizeable penetration two years back, 2021 will see the replacement cycle mature, which will be the major contributor to growth.
Industry executives said it takes 45 to 60 days to hold the auction after the issue of the NIA. The NIAs to prospective bidders, likely to only be the existing private telcos Jio, Vi and Airtel, come on the back of the Cabinet's approval in December for holding the auction of 4G airwaves in March 2021.
Smartphone sales grew 29% in 2015, fell 5% in 2016 owing to demonetisation, then recovered to 14% in 2017 and 2018, as per IDC India. But in 2019, it grew at 8% and is expected to end 2020 flat year-on-year because of the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
Jio said it would stop levying interconnect usage charges (IUC) for all domestic voice calls with the scrapping of such fees from January 1, in line with the telecom regulator’s directions.
RIL approaches Punjab, Haryana HC against vandalism of Jio mobile towers, seeks urgent govt intervention
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), through its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the urgent intervention of government authorities to bring a complete stop to the destruction of towers and telecom infrastructure of the company. Several news reports mentioned that more than 1,600 telecom towers owned or operated by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio were destroyed in the past few days by miscreants.RIL approaches Punjab, Haryana HC against vandalism of Jio mobile towers, seeks urgent govt intervention
Airtel in a letter to Department of Telecom (DoT) said Jio's allegations against it did not demonstrate any evidence that Bharti had any hand in the ongoing issues that the company is facing, and that the complaint should be dismissed "with the contempt that it deserves".
At Reliance Jio, the share of online recharges increased to 50% in the December quarter from 35% in the March quarter, after having touched 60% during the lockdown in the June-ended quarter, according to a senior company executive.
The comments came a day after Reliance Jio announced that calls by its users to other networks in India will become free from Friday, as the Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) regime ends.
IUC is a charge that is paid by a telco to another operator when its customers make voice calls to subscribers of the rival network, and these charges stood at 6 paise per minute.
Vi’s statement came on back of Reliance Jio Infocomm saying it will stop charging subscribers for local calls made to rival networks from Friday, when interconnect user charges (IUC) are scrapped.
Telecom major Reliance Jio Infocomm on Friday reported a near three-fold rise in its standalone net profit for the July-September quarter at Rs 2,844 crore. During the same period of last year, the company had reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 990 crore. Jio's revenue from operations during the period under review rose 33 per cent to Rs 17,481 crore.Reliance Jio's Q2 net profit logs near 3-fold jump to Rs 2,844 crore
Profit rose to Rs 2,844 crore in the quarter from Rs 990 crore a year ago and Rs 2,520 crore in the preceding quarter, Jio said in a statement Friday. The market had estimated Jio’s quarterly profit at roughly Rs 2,850 crore.
Analysts in an ETNOW poll had estimated the number at Rs 2,740.
More than 1,500 telecom towers were damaged by the protesting farmers in Punjab. Patiala SSP Vikram Jeet Duggal informed that services at all the telecom towers that were disrupted during protest have been restored. “We will take action against those who were involved in violence under the garb of their democratic right to protest. Services at telecom towers, which were disrupted due to violence, have been restored,” said SSP Duggal. Services of telecom towers, damaged by protestors, restored: Patiala SSP
Sources with knowledge of the matter said as many as 63 towers were damaged on Tuesday. Jio repaired some of the towers that were damaged over the past few days, they said, adding 826 sites were down as of Tuesday afternoon.
According to a white paper released by UK-based market research firm YouGov, India ranks among the top 10 gaming countries in the world with 71% of the urban population playing casual or professional games on smartphones, consoles and other devices.
CJI Bobde said the court was initially thinking of asking the government to set aside a dedicated satellite — as their prices had come down substantially — but was advised that fibre optics is better for video conferencing and exchanging data.
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has directed police to take action against anyone destroying telecom towers even as Reliance Jio Infocomm’s executives are due to meet senior state government officials in Punjab after protesting farmers damaged more than 1,500 Jio-owned or operated telecom towers over the past few days.
While firms belonging to billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani do not procure food grains from farmers, the narrative that new farm laws are to benefit them has made them easy targets, with protesting farmers in different places in Punjab having vandalised and damaged Reliance Jio towers, snapping connectivity.
Reliance Jio has launched new, revamped `JioPages', its Made-in-India mobile browser that is available in eight Indian languages and promises enhanced browsing experience while focusing on data privacy. The new version of the browser made its debut on Google Playstore on Tuesday. JioPages is built on the Chromium Blink engine, and provides enhanced browsing experience through faster engine migration, webpage rendering, faster page loads, efficient media streaming, Emoji domain support and encrypted connectioJioPages: Reliance Jio unveils 'Made-in-India' mobile browser which supports 8 Indian languages
After a fierce contest for the past 12 months, “Airtel’s active user share at 33.3% edged ahead of Jio’s 33.2% in October, driven by the highest mobile broadband customer gains, underlining the improving quality of its subscriber additions,” ICICI Securities said, analysing latest customer data put out by the telecom regulator.
The Mukesh Ambani-led company will follow it up with its proposed entry-level smartphone, being developed with Google, later next year, two senior industry executives said. Reliance and Google have formed a joint team for the project, they said.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, besides equipment vendors such as Ericsson and Nokia, called for an overhaul of PPDR communication for public safety and first responder agencies such as police department, fire department, medical teams and armed forces, which is based on legacy technologies such as TETRA, P25 or old analog systems.
"Jio wants to bring the device for less than Rs 5,000. When we scale up the sales, it can be priced in the range of Rs 2,500-3,000," a company official said on the condition of anonymity.
The Tata Group has joined the likes of Reliance Jio and the State Bank of India in the race to build a new mass-market payments entity that would challenge the existing non-profit monopoly, the National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI). Under the central bank's New Umbrella Entity (NUE) licence framework, applications given the green light by Mint Road can own and operate a pan-India retail payments network.Tatas plan to take head on Reliance Jio and SBI, to setup retail payments network
Voda Idea to witness "accelerated revenue market share (RMS) loss" due to the tight timeline on statutory payments and "significant tariff hikes looking at least 12 months away".