In contrast to analysts’ expectations, Reliance Jio failed to become the largest telecom operator during the July-September quarter if the total adjusted gross revenues (AGR) of access service licence and national long distance licence are taken into account. The newly-merged entity, Vodafone Idea, took the top spot, followed by Bharti Airtel and Jio, as per data sourced from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
In the preceding quarter, the top slot was occupied by Bharti Airtel as Vodafone and Idea had not merged by then. Analysts had expected that during the July-September quarter, Jio would surpass Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.
However, if only the AGR of access services licence is taken into account, Reliance Jio, for the second consecutive time, emerged as the biggest telecom service provider during the quarter. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel come next.
This means that the NLD stream of Jio is not being used by incumbents to carry out their domestic long-distance traffic.
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As per Trai data released on Saturday, during the July-September 2018 quarter, Jio’s AGR for access services stood at Rs 8,271.86 crore, higher than VIL’s Rs 7,528.35 crore and Bharti’s Rs 6,720.91 crore.
However, after adding the NLD revenues, VIL’s total AGR comes to Rs 10,478.44 crore, Bharti’s stood at Rs 9,882.33 crore, higher than Jio’s Rs 8,346.20 crore.
During April-June quarter, Jio’s AGR stood at Rs 7,125.69 crore, higher than Bharti’s Rs 6,723.54 crore. After adding NLD revenues, Bharti’s total AGR stood at Rs 10,192.12 crore, higher than Jio’s Rs 7,200.40 crore.
It was during the January-March 2018 quarter that Jio, for the first time, pipped Vodafone to become the second-largest telecom operator in terms of AGR (without NLD revenues). Its AGR then stood at Rs 6,217.60 crore as against Bharti’s Rs 7,085.50 crore, and Vodafone’s Rs 5,095.80 crore.
However, then also after adding NLD revenues, Vodafone was ahead of Jio as then Vodafone’s AGR came at Rs 6,976.20 crore compared to Jio’s Rs 6,309.40 crore.
In the past, Bharti was the market leader both for access services and NLD, but the pecking order changed as Vodafone India and Idea Cellular completed their merger on August 31, 2018.
July-September is the first quarter when their combined revenue has been reported by the Trai.
In terms of mobile subscribers, Jio is at the third spot, but is rapidly adding numbers. As of September 2018, VIL is the largest telco with a subscriber count of 422 million, followed by Bharti at 329.68 million and Jio at 252.3 million.