Investors starting to understand Mukesh Ambani’s telecom game – Angel Broking

Investors are only now starting to realize the plan that Mukesh Ambani and his telecom brainchild, Reliance Jio, have put into practice, and are therefore driving stock prices of his company higher, said Angel Broking, a retail-only stock-broker. Reliance Industries share prices surged 11% on Wednesday, the first time it has moved so much in the last eight years. “What shareholders are beginning to appreciate is that notwithstanding the low prices, there is a methodical move towards return on investment,” the broker said. POOR RETURNS Reliance Industries’ stock had been…

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Bharti Airtel buys Telenor India

In a surprise announcement, Bharti Airtel said it was taking over Telenor India, marking the first such transaction since Idea took over Spice Telecom several years ago. Typically, companies in Indian telecom sector sell only assets, such as spectrum, and never the whole unit, due to the high debts on telecom companies’ balance sheets in India. The pricing details were not announced. It is likely that Airtel is not paying a substantial amount to Telenor as part of the transaction due to the unfavorable financials of the acquired unit. However,…

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Mukesh Ambani to announce 100 mln Reliance Jio customers today?

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, will make a statement today, 21 February, at 1:30 PM. The statement will be streamed via Youtube and other channels. The link to the live stream will be shared by around 12 PM. Though the company has no revealed what the subject of the announcement will be, it is expected that the Ambani will announce that the company has crossed the 100 mln subscriber mark. Jio, which started signing up customers in September, had crossed the 72 mln mark in December and has been…

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Reliance Jio added 2 cr subscribers in Dec, Andhra Pradesh leads

Reliance Jio, the new 4G operator, has the highest number of subscribers in Andhra Pradesh, followed by Gujarat and Delhi. The company added 20 mln (2 cr) new users in December, its highest ever tally for a single month. The previous record was held by October, when it added 19.63 mln users. In December, the 4G player added 20.28 mln subscribers. The company accounted for 73% of the total subscriber additions in the month. The highest number of users for the operator was in Andhra Pradesh telecom circle, which also includes…

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Facebook biggest beneficiary of Reliance Jio free data

It’s common knowledge that Reliance Jio’s free data service has massively increased Internet usage in India, but a new report throws light on what categories have been benefited and which have not. The biggest beneficiary of the free data offer from Reliance Jio is — yes, you guessed it right — social media, which technically means Facebook for most people in India. According to a study by Smartapp, there has been an increase of 467% in usage of social media apps due to Jio’s preview services, now in their fifth…

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Reliance Jio’s 1000-rupee phone likely to work only on its 4G network; feature

The market is abuzz with rumors of the impending launch of a 1000-rupee ‘feature phone’ by Reliance Jio, but comments by Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal suggests that the Mukesh Ambani firm will not be able to launch such a phone without providing a big subsidies. However, doing so would in turn require locking the device to the operator’s network. A VoLTE-enabled feature phone would help RJio tap three untapped markets — people who can’t afford to or don’t want to spend Rs 3,000 on a smartphone, people who want a…

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Reliance Jio NOT TO EXTEND free data offer after March

Reliance Jio will not be extending its Happy New Year free data offer beyond March 31, according to our sources in the company. The clarification comes in the wake dozens of reports claiming that it will extend the free scheme beyond the March 31 deadline into June. “There is zero chance of that happening,” said a senior official in the company’s sales team. HISTORY REPEATS In November and December, there were a similar number of articles that claimed that it would extend the Welcome Offer by three months from December to…

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Idea Cellular increases free data in unlimited scheme by 4 times

Idea Cellular today increased the free data allocation on its existing unlimited calling packs. Compared to 1 GB of 4G data that customers were getting with the Rs 348 pack, they will now get 4 GB. Similarly, the free data allocation for those who do not have 4G handsets has been increased from 50 MB to 3 GB per month — an increase of 60 times. “Prepaid customers can get 3GB free data on Rs 348 recharge pack, in addition to unlimited voice calling and SMS. Those who recharge with…

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TRAI wants FREE DATA for everyone, without ‘gatekeeping’ by telcos

India’s telecom regulator has suggested that every rural citizen should be given 100 MB or so per month on a free basis to help the spread of digital revolution in the country. It has also suggested allowing ‘third party aggregators’ like Facebook to offer free data, but only if they can keep telecom companies totally out of such efforts. Both suggestions are aimed at ensuring that non-telecom companies who want to offer free data can do so, while preventing telecom operators from acting as gate keepers who decide what their…

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Fitch downgrades Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications over Aircel merger

Fitch Ratings has downgraded India-based Reliance Communications Limited’s long-term rating to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-‘. “It is our view that Rcom’s plans to demerge its wireless business into a 50:50 joint-venture and sell 51% of its tower business, Reliance Infratel Ltd (Infratel), will be negative for Rcom’s creditors, even if receipts from the tower transaction are used to pay down debt,” it said. “Without ownership control, Rcom would not have access to cash flows from either the wireless JV or the tower business, other than through dividends, and we anticipate neither…

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BSNL matches Airtel, Idea with 339 unlimited voice + 1GB offer

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has unveiled a new unlimited call plan, matching bigger rivals such as Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel. While Airtel and Idea offer unlimited calls to any network in India plus 1 GB of 4G data for Rs 345, BSNL is doing so with a new recharge of Rs 339. In addition, BSNL’s offer is valid for all customers whether they use 2G, 3G or 4G handsets. In contrast, the other two have limited the 1 GB data to those with 4G handsets. BSNL has not yet…

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UPA-era procurement delays kept us back – BSNL CMD

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava blamed delays in procuring key equipment for the present backward condition of the state-owned telecom operator. The company, which was once profitable and dominated India’s telecom sector, has run up huge losses in the last several years, while private telecom companies have reaped tens of thousands of crores in profit during the same period. BSNL reported a loss of Rs 3,803 cr for the year ended March 2016, taking its total loss to over Rs 47,000 cr. In the previous year, it had…

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Airtel halves 4G data price to Rs 495/10GB; offers freebies to take on Reliance Jio

Over the last two days, Bharti Airtel has quietly slashed its 4G pack prices to unprecedented levels in reaction to upcoming plans from Reliance Jio. According to the new data plans available to anyone who recharges using Airtel’s online or app facility, the price of 10 GB of 4G data pack has been brought down from Rs 999 to Rs 495. Similarly, the 6 GB plan now costs Rs 260-265 compared to Rs 700 a month ago. These price changes are applicable only for 4G handsets and usage, and not…

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10GB @ Rs 495 – Tata DoCoMo’s new 3G plan costs half that of Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio 4G was supposed to be the biggest thing that ever happened to data in India, and it probably is too. But that doesn’t mean that it owns the market for affordable high-speed data. Tata DoCoMo, which operates 3G services in nine circles, has started rolling out India’s cheapest limited 3G plan. The new plan, which is being offered only via the web, gives 10 GB of high-speed data for Rs 495. This is half the price of the corresponding high-speed data pack from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone…

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RCom lost 23% of its active subscribers in five months, going by VLR data

TRAI data has finally confirmed what we had first reported two months ago — RCom lost the vast majority of its CDMA subscribers when it forced them to migrate to 4G five months ago. Out of around 101 mln RCom subscribers at the time, about 24 mln are estimated to have been on CDMA technology. Though RCom claimed that the ‘upgrade’ from CDMA to 4G was proceeding smoothly, the ‘VLR’ numbers — which show the proportion of ‘switched on’ users in a network — painted a different picture. On a…

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MEGA DISRUPTION: RCom makes all VOICE calls FREE at 149 per month

In what can only be called a highly disruptive move, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications has made all voice calls in India free for those who recharge with a coupon of Rs 149 per month. The impact of the move will be greater than that of Reliance Jio’s similar tariff, as this tariff is valid on 2G, 3G and 4G calls. “RCOM’s revolutionary Unlimited Plan is set to change the dynamics of mobile recharges in India, as customers move away from the traditional Revenue Per Minute tariff model to a service…

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Reliance Jio WELCOME OFFER will NOT be EXTENDED to March

Reliance Jio’s free Welcome Offer will not be extended beyond Dec 31, despite widespread media reports saying that it will be. “There is practically zero chance of it getting extended,” said a marketing official working for the company in Kerala. “If there were to be any such thing, we would have got to know by now.” In addition, there are reports of flyers and brochures that are to be used to introduce existing and new users to Jio’s plans. The brochures mention that the tariffs are applicable from Jan 1, 2017. If…

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Aircel offers calls at 10-25 paise per minute via coupon in Mumbai

Aircel, which will merge with Reliance Communications in about six months, announced new recharge coupons that will cut outoing call rates for its Mumbai customers. The Rs 78 coupon will cut call rates to other Aircel users to 10 paise, including STD calls. Calls to non-Aircel users will cost 25 paise per minute. However, the validity of the coupon is only 28 days. Combined with network support from RCom, Aircel’s service offering has become more attractive with this offer for heavy users. However, for those who make less than 10…

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RCom’s voice subscribers fall 30% in one year on VLR count

Anil Ambani Group’s Reliance Communications has seen a sharp fall in its subscriber numbers after the migration of its CDMA network to LTE. According to the latest numbers released by the company, the total number of voice customers fell by 11.6% in the three months from June to September. Voice revenue fell 8.3% from the previous quarter. If we compare the September subscriber number with the same number a year ago, the fall is 21%. But these numbers only reveal part of the picture, as RCom includes non-switched-on users also…

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Vodafone writes off due to Rs 36,500 cr due to Reliance Jio launch

Vodafone Group has taken an impairment charge of 5.0 billion euros — equivalent to Rs 36,540 cr, due to the increased competition in the Indian market after the launch of Reliance Jio. “A new entrant has recently launched free trial services for an extended time period and commercial price plans that were at a significant discount to prevailing market pricing, resulting in competitive responses from other operators. “This has created a high degree of uncertainty over a range of commercial planning assumptions including future pricing, profitability and market structure. “Accordingly…

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