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MUKESH AMBANI LIVE: Reliance Jio unlikely to extend WELCOME OFFER

ambaniIn his speech starting in half an hour, Reliance Jio chairman Mukesh Ambani will claim leadership in the broadband space globally, but is unlikely to announce an extension of the Welcome Offer.

“The Welcome Offer was to get your feedback,” Ambani is expected to say in his speech that will start at 2 PM today.

Jio has not only become the largest broadband company in India in a matter of three months, but it has also become the largest telecom operator by data carried, he is expected to say in his speech.

Ambani is also expected to give an update on the call blocking carried out by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.

“900 cr voice calls were blocked by Jio’s three main competitors,” the RIL chairman is expected to tell the audience in his speech today.

However, the issue has been settled with the intervention of regulatory authorities, Ambani is expected to announce.

Further, Ambani is also expected to announce details of retail and distribution expansion.

At total of 2 lakh outlets now support Aadhaar-based eKYC facility and the activation time has now been cut down to 5 minutes, Ambani would reveal.

Jio has been onboarding 6 lakh customers per day, and will increase its capacity further.

The company is targeting to double the number of outlets to 4 lakh, Ambani is seen telling the audience.

More details of the company’s plans are expected to be made available soon. We will be carrying the live video feed below.

BIGGEST IN THE WORLD

Reliance Jio is likely to be the world’s No. 1 data services provider by some distance, according to calculations done by analysts at Credit Suisse.

According to information given by Jio at the occasion of the quarterly earnings of its parent Reliance Industries, an average customer of the company is using roughly 1 GB of data per day.

The company enrolled about 16 mln customers from Sept 5 to Sept 30. (Together with customers enrolled since then, and before Sept 5, the total is expected to be close to 30 mln.)

Credit Suisse analysts Sunil Tirumalai and Viral Shah have taken the 16 mln number to do their calculations.

Multiplying 16 mln by 1 GB per day, they have estimated the total data traffic being carried by Reliance Jio at 16,000 terabytes — easily making it the No. 1 data operator in the world.

If we take the 25-30 mln number (which is likely to be the real subscriber base right now), the total becomes close to 25,000 TB per day.

In comparison, the biggest data operator in the world — China Mobile — carries only about half of that — around 12,600 TB per day.

The third biggest operator — Vodafone Global — carries about one-fourth of that — about 6,000 TB.

“This also makes Jio traffic 4.2 times larger than Bharti + Idea + Vodafone India combined,” Tirumalai and Shah said in a note today.

Unlike the other companies, RJio is still in a trial stage and does not charge its users for the data.

They estimate that Jio’s network is being utilized to quite high levels due to the barrage of data.

Against the normal 15% utilization for 4G networks in India, Credit Suisse estimates the utilization of Jio’s network at 75%. It is not clear whether this number is a 24-hour average or peak utilization.

They also noted rising complaints about speed going down on the network.

These complaints, they pointed out, are “quite understandable in the context of the above math. Jio’s network is thus getting ‘stress – tested’.”

The analysts also pointed out that Jio has quietly increased the capital outlay for the telecom venture from 1.5 lakh cr to 2.5 lakh cr.

“The announcement at the analyst meet of additional Rs1tn investment over the next four years only raises the risk of further cash strain on other telcos, in a seemingly never ending battle of asset building,” they said, adding that an investment of Rs 1 lakh cr was equivalent to adding ‘another Idea Cellular’ to the RJio network.

Credit Suisse has been arguably the most pessimistic of all analyst firms as far as the impact of the new entrant on existing players is concerned, and has regularly updated on the company’s roll-out plans over the years.

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