Jio’s Postpaid Poses No Risk To Vodafone, Airtel, Says India Ratings
An advertisement for Jio Platforms Ltd., the mobile network of Reliance Industries Ltd., is displayed at Marine Drive in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Jio’s Postpaid Poses No Risk To Vodafone, Airtel, Says India Ratings

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.'s newly launched postpaid plans indicate a shift to higher earnings and lowering of intensive competition in the telecom space, India Ratings and Research said in a report on Friday.

The postpaid plans indicate Jio's continued steps towards improving the industry-level average revenue per user, India Ratings said.

The tariff differentiations between Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have also been gradually thinning away over the past nine to 12 months, indicating lowering competition intensity, it said.

It can be noted that since its 2016 launch, the deep-pocketed Jio's aggressive play has led to a radical change in the industry, which has delivered services at cheaper rates to the common people, but hurt the finances of telcos and led many operators to exit and also file for bankruptcies.

India Ratings said Jio's plans do not threaten the postpaid customer base of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea due to sticky nature of customers and similar content offerings.

There are structural green shoots visible in the sector owing to the alleviation of regulatory risks and moderation in competitive intensity in FY21, compared to the past two to three years, it said.

Also read: Vodafone Idea, Airtel Lose Over 59 Lakh Mobile Users In June: TRAI

The tariffs of Jio's postpaid plans are almost double of its existing plans, it said, adding that postpaid plans are typically priced at 12-20% premium over prepaid plans.

"Therefore, any increase in the proportion of postpaid subscriber base in the overall base of telcos will be average revenue per user accretive," it said.

The shift from postpaid plans to prepaid plans might not lead to an immediate spike in ARPU in the near term, as postpaid subscribers represent only around 5% of the total subscriber base, but the move indicates that structurally ARPU has started improving, it said.

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