The Great Indian Telecom Wars – A New Day, A New Fight
Indian Telecom Wars between Reliance JIO, Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea continues as Jio takes on the merged Vodafone-Idea, and Airtel. With Jio’s entry and disruptive pricing, the Telecom sector is going through a tough phase.
Update – 19/Jan/2019
Tumbling Stocks and Profits for Vodafone-Idea and Airtel
If you are into the stock market and ever paid attention to the Telecom stocks (Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel). You would know, these were once lucrative investment but are no longer seen as assets by many stock analysts.
In fact, the rival stocks are doing poorly for many months now. Moreover, yesterdays announcements by JIO executives during the earnings call has further triggered a sell-off.
Airtel stock was down by 6.4% yesterday and Vodafone-Idea by 4.5%.
The statement shared by Goldman Sach to ET says” Jio will continue to keep the tariffs at the current level and primary focus for the company is the subscriber addition. Moreover, the company doesn’t want to break the subscriber growth momentum by increasing the tariffs at this stage.”
This essentially means, the rivals who were looking for a breather from Jio, are getting none, not even in the near future. This severely impacts the earnings for Bharti and Vodafone-Idea for the next few quarters, hence the stock sell-off by investors.
However, it is a piece of good news for not only Jio users but also for users of rival networks who can continue to enjoy unlimited data and voice plans at low rates.
JIO Adds 8.8 Million Subscribers
To add insult to the injury, as per a recent TRAI report Reliance Jio added 8.8 million subscribers, whereas Airtel added only 1 lakh and Idea-Vodafone lost 6.5 million subscribers.
Jio currently has close to 280 million subscribers (24% subscriber market share) and every month the company is adding close to 8-9 million subscribers.
By the end of FY’19, Jio will easily have more than 300 million subscribers.
Things are looking positive for Jio at the moment and the company is also planning to revolutionize the home broadband segment with the JIO Gigafiber (read about plans and details).
Update 05/July/2018 – At the Reliance AGM today, Mr. Mukesh Ambani Shared that Reliance JIO has crossed the 215 Million Subscriber mark and is almost at par with Idea Cellular. It is a big milestone for the company and thanks to JIO, the data consumption in India has increased many folds since its inception.
Below is the Snapshot of how the Subscribers have increased for last 12 months for the brand and the data consumption is nearly doubled from 125 Cr GB per month to 240 Crore GB per month.
Watch detailed Video on the JIO Phone 2 and Jio Gigafiber:
Watch the detailed Video on GigaFiber and JIO Phone 2:
Update Date – 07 June 2018
Also, JIO has recently launched the new Postpaid Plan that fuels up the telecom war further.
On the other hand, hyper-competition is a blessing for Indian subscribers who now have access to the cheapest cellular data in the world.
So What’s Latest in the Jio Vs Rest of Telecom operators ongoing tussle.
JIO Vs Airtel – Apple Watch Series 3 (Violation of License Norms)
Jio has filed a complaint with the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) that Airtel is violating the Acess service license norms for the eSim provisioning for the Apple Watch Series 3. To clarify, what this means, let me share a bit of a background on how Apple watch works.
Notably, the Apple Watch Series 3 needs an eSim that works using the same number as your phone. The eSim, offers standalone mobile calling support using the Apple Watch even when your phone is not nearby. You can make phone calls from the Apple watch using your mobile number with the help of the eSim.
The Apple Watch Series 3 was launched in India couple of days back and both Airtel and JIO are offering this service to their subscribers.
Now JIO is alleging that Airtel needs to be severely punished as some of the nodes for provisioning of eSims are based out of India and hence is an issue of national security and disregard for the terms and conditions of the license.
On the contrary, Airtel in its response has said that it is a yet another frivolous complaint by the Desperate operator and the company is hosting all the information of customers in fully secured servers in India. Also, they will be happy to share more details to DOT as and when required.
JIO has been attacking rivals with complaints and lawsuits, this brutal war between these operators doesn’t seem to subside.
The previous issue in the Jio Vs Airtel War was IPL 2018 Live packs, you can read more about it below.
Jio Vs Airtel – Live IPL 2018 Tussle (Date 12 April 2018)
Recently, Reliance JIO took Bharti Airtel to Delhi High Court for an alleged misleading advertisement related to Live IPL 2018 by Airtel.
As per JIO, Airtel is misleading the customers with the Ad that says “T20 Cricket Live and Free on Airtel 4G”. The allegation by Jio is that Airtel is not clearly mentioning that the data used for streaming live matches is chargeable.
Notably, the Airtel subscribers need to download the Airtel Live TV App to watch the IPL matches, and the company is not charging subscribers for this free service.
So, Airtel is trying to attract customers to get an Airtel 4G sim-card and, in turn, offering Free Live Streaming of IPL matches, not a bad deal.
Mostly, in such offers the data used by the customer is chargeable and in my opinion, Airtel is not doing anything wrong. However, the concern raised by JIO is that Airtel needs to put a disclaimer in a visible spot that the data is chargeable.
This should be ideally done to avoid any confusion, in my opinion as well.
Check the Below AD from Airtel Website, Now the company has put a disclaimer about data usage which was not there earlier.
Moreover, In the Newspaper Ad, Airtel has a disclaimer that data is chargeable, but again it is in small print at the bottom of a full page Ad.
Reliance Jio has appealed to the Delhi High Court to stop the promotion of the campaign as it’s a misleading offer.
However, Honorable Delhi High Court has not asked Airtel to stop the campaign but instead asked to add a clear disclaimer. Airtel has complied with the order and finally added a clear disclaimer as shown in the above image.
Let’s also look at the Jio Offer for watching IPL matches.
JIO IPL 2018 (JIO Cricket Gold Pass Offer)
Unlike Airtel, It is not a free offer and subscribers need to do Rs. 251 recharge, where they get Free Access to IPL matches via JIO TV and additionally get 102 GB data, unlimited calling for 51 days. You can even use the data for other purposes, as there are no restrictions by JIO to limit it only for the IPL matches.
So What’s our Take IPL Issue
It is a good practice to share terms and condition of the offers and even better to share important details up front. It is a companies responsibility to be fair to its customers and be transparent.
But at the same time, dragging each other to court over trivial issues and creating a mountain out of a molehill is not desirable.
Also, in this case, JIO is charging Rs 251 and offering data + Free live TV whereas Airtel offers seems free (of course data is chargeable), making it look more lucrative. So that probably caused Jio to complain.
So, What Do you think about this latest scuffle among Telecom Titans? Share in Comments.
Telecom Subscriber Count and Market Share 2018 (Feb 2018)
We will be updating this Information with the latest Subscriber numbers in a couple of days.
Subscriber Count is in Million
|Operators||Telecom Subscriber (Mn)||Market Share|
The Mobile subscriber base stands at 988.49 Million (Jan 2018), and Airtel is the largest player followed by Vodafone, Idea and Reliance JIO.
Jio is closing fast and may overtake Idea Cellular in the coming months, but the combined Idea and Voda entity will have over 400 million subscribers and 41% market share.