Country’s third largest telecom player Idea Cellular today said Reliance Jio’s announcement to make subscribers pay for services from April has helped the “recovery” of the industry. “There is some degree of recovery which has started to happen in the industry with the announcement of charging and with some monetisation process that has started by the new entrant,” Idea managing director Himanshu Kapania told analysts on a conference call after the company announced merger with Vodafone in an all-stock deal. Merger will create the country’s largest telco with 400 million customers and 42 per cent revenue market share.
Jio has netted over 100 million subscribers in less than six months of launch. Launched in September last year, Jio has rattled competition and is offering free data till end March. Last month, it announced the plan to start charging from next month. “Now, there is an announcement by the new entrant that they are going to charge from April 1, we are also looking forward to the charge,” Kapania said.
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“We are very hopeful that market repairs will start and we believe that from March itself the repairs has started to kick in,” he added.
Kapania conceded that launch of Jio’s services last September hurt the numbers for the third and the fourth quarters. He expressed hope that the industry will return to double digit growth in the next 12-18 months.