Info-tech

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone will continue to face revenue share loss: BofA-ML

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 09, 2019 Published on May 09, 2019

India needs more time to be fully prepared for 5G, said Vora

Reliance Jio Infocomm’s momentum will continue on the back of its wider 4G coverage and cheaper tariffs, even as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India Ltd (VIL) continue to face the risk of continued revenue market share loss, a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) said.

Incumbent telecom operators are also seen focussing on select areas to improve the network and add subscribers, instead of adopting a carpet rollout approach.

RJio, on other hand, is looking to achieve a 99 per cent 4G population coverage, the report said.

The congestion among incumbent telecom networks is also rising due to continued increase in data users and usage.

VoLTE is still being optimised and not working smoothly, it added.

According to the brokerage firm, even congestion on the RJio network is “selectively” rising, but the company is “aggressively” investing in small-cells among others to resolve these issues. The network integration of Vodafone and Idea is progressing smoothly, and the company has picked up its pace in investments to improve 4G coverage.

The focus on monetisation of content has started to pick up pace, with RJio already planning to monetise JioSaavn and other apps.

For FY20, capex for Bharti and Jio is expected to decline on a YoY basis, and for VIL, it is expected to flatten. Investments and focus on fixed broadband and enterprise business have increased for both Bharti and RJio, it added.

Tariff hike

The brokerage firm does not expect any tariff hike post-elections, as it believes RJio (the telco with the cheapest tariffs) is unlikely to raise tariffs till it decisively becomes the top operator in India.

The management of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) continues to reiterate that its focus is on subscriber addition and increasing smartphone usage among subscribers, rather than monetisation.

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Published on May 09, 2019
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