HOME > BUSINESS > Bharti Airtel likely to counter Reliance Jio’s 303 plan shortly

Bharti Airtel likely to counter Reliance Jio’s 303 plan shortly


Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom company, is likely to match Reliance Jio’s one-year promotional 4G tariff of Rs 303 per month, according to industry and analyst sources.

“They have been maintaining that they will match once Jio starts charging for customers,” said a stock analyst based in Mumbai. “That time has come. If they don’t match it, they’re going to be priced out.”

At present, the cheapest tariff from Airtel is 6 GB for Rs 147, but that is given only to its ‘at risk’ customers.

The company identifies customers at risk by checking if they are heavy data users and whether they use a 4G-enabled phone or any other high-end model. For example, people who spend only Rs 150 per month and use no data do not make up key customers.

Speaking to investors last month, the company’s CEO Gopal Vittal said he was aware that a large chunk of their premium customers are currently using Reliance Jio’s services via additional SIM cards even as they remain on Airtel’s network.

“The good news is that these customers are still on our network, we know who they are. And I think once pricing commences, we will see how they will make choices of where the traffic has got to go. We have been through this game in the past,” he said, promising that his company will compete with matching tariff plans once the new entrant reveals its hands.

Jio chairman Mukesh Ambani today announced a new tariff plan that sells 1 GB of data per day and unlimited calls for Rs 303 per month.

Vittal is likely to respond by matching the tariff on the 4G data side.

It is estimated that the capacity utilization of the 4G networks of RJio’s rivals is the single digits. This could dip further as they continue to add new base stations. The Ambani firm is reported to be carrying 94% of India’s total wireless data traffic.

As such, the incremental cost of selling data is almost zero for the incumbent players.

Therefore, say most industry watchers, these players are likely to borrow a leaf out of Ambani’s playbook and spoil users with ultra-low 4G prices till March 2018. In fact, Vittal hinted at such plans even as he spoke last month.

“Our focus is how do we continue to hold on to our customer base, how do we use the utilization of our network, which is sitting today at a low level on the data side in order to drive consumption and to remain competitive in the marketplace,” he told investors.

Although Jio may look like it is giving 30 GB for Rs 303 per month, the actual usage of data will be close to around 13 or 14 GB per month per subscriber. This is because data keeps lapsing or expiring every day, and most people do not use their exact 1 GB allowance every day.

At 13 GB per month, the actual cost comes to about Rs 23 per GB. Both Bharti and Idea Cellular are already providing 4G data at Rs 25 per GB under their promotional schemes.

“They have two options: One is to provide a differentiated scheme, say 15 GB for Rs 300, while the second option is to simply offer 1 GB per day for Rs 300 per month,” said a telecom industry veteran who now serves a consultant to operators.

Though Jio also provides free calls with its data, voice is not the key driver for people straying from incumbent operators, according to this person. Typically, voice costs only around Rs 200 per month, while data costs can run into thousands of rupees for those who consume video.

“The lure is the data. That is what they need to address on a priority. Once they roll-out their own VoLTE services, they can add unlimited calling to the mix,” he added.

For now though, none of the rival operators have commented on Jio’s move.

They have already taken the company to the courts over its previous promotional offer, and may explore legally challenging the scheme announced by Ambani today.

“The matter is already in TD-SAT and the TRAI is also trying to get a legal definition of what constitutes predatory pricing and what doesn’t. That is great. But what they can’t afford to do is to wait for the judgments to be delivered,” the consultant added.

While industry sources and analysts were more certain about Bharti responding to the new scheme, they were less certain of an equally aggressive response coming from Idea Cellular or Vodafone. The two companies are engaged in talks to merge their operations in India to better compete with Jio.

Follow ULTRA.news
Tata DoCoMo users get Airtel network, but not the tariff plans yet Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices said they have started moving customers of Tata DoCoMo to the Bharti Airtel network using what is called an 'intra-circle roaming' or ICR agreement.This essentially means that Tata Teleservices will continue to operate a network in a techn...
Reliance Jio arrests trend of declining net additions; user activity increases Reliance Jio, India's newest operator, added 5.94 mln subscribers in September, breaking a declining trend in net additions and taking the total subscriber number to 138.62 mln (13.86 cr).Even as the company increased its subscriber numbers, it was also able to reduce the p...
Vodafone increases data on 349 plan to 1.5 GB per day Following Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel, Vodafone too has increased the data allocation on its Rs 349 plan to 1.5 GB per day from 1 GB per day.Over the last few days, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular too had increased quota by 50% to cope with competition from Reliance Jio....
After Reliance Jio, Idea offers 100% cashback on Rs 357 plan Idea Cellular, reportedly India's third largest 4G operator by volume, has started offering a 100% cash-back scheme even as the Cellular Operators Association has complained against such schemes.Similar cash back schemes have been announced by Reliance Jio in an effort to ma...
As Jio reality sinks, Idea abandons ‘limited aggression’ strategy Idea Cellular has abandoned its earlier strategy of 'limited aggression' in dealing with the threat from Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, and will be more visible in its counter strikes from now, said CEO Himanshu Kapania."From end October, Idea has shifted its earlier stand ...
Idea sees half of India remain 2G-only in 2022, to refarm 900 MHz for 4G About 600-650 mln telecom customers in India will remain 'pure 2G' users even in the year 2022, while 4G users would swell from 175 mln to 750 mln, said Himanshu Kapania, CEO of India's fourth largest telecom operator Idea Cellular.At present, India has around 1.05 bln activ...
Bharti Airtel raises Rs 3,325 cr by selling shares in Infratel Bharti Airtel said it raised Rs 3,325 crore (USD 510 Million) by selling shares in its tower subsidiary.It sold 83 mln shares at Rs 400.60 each. The price was at a discount of 3.6% to the previous day’s closing level.Shares of Infratel opened down by about 4% today due ...
Tata Teleservices loses 7.3% subscribers in October in Maharashtra Tata Teleservices, the mobile telecom arm of the Tata Group that was sold to Bharti Airtel last month, lost about 7.3% of its nearly 7 mln mobile subscribers in Maharashtra and Goa, according to a regulatory filing by the company.Tata Telservices Maharashtra Ltd, as the compa...
Idea, Vodafone to share 4G network; Broadband towers overtake 2G Idea Cellular and Vodafone in India started sharing their some of their networks in October, and will soon increase their 4G coverage by about 5,000 villages due to this, the Aditya Birla Group company said.Idea Q2 vs Q1"In October 2017, Idea and Vodafone India have ente...
Idea Cellular loss widens, ARPU down, VoLTE in early 2018 Idea Cellular reported a 19.7% year-on-year decline in its standalone revenue for the second quarter of this financial year, while net loss increased to Rs 1,176 cr from 617 cr in the preceding quarter and a net profit of 4.3 cr in the year-ago period.The revenue per subscri...
American Tower Corp buys towers of Idea and Vodafone in India for $1.2 bln Vodafone India and IdeaCellular Ltd said they agreed to sell their standalone tower businesses in India to the local unit of American Tower Corp for an aggregate enterprise value of Rs 7,850 cr (US $1.2 billion).In case the sale is completed before the merger of Vodafone Ind...
Bharti Airtel unveils new postpaid plan 499 with 20 GB data Bharti Airtel said it had introduced new 4G plans for its postpaid, or contract, customers, bringing some of the benefits that were hitherto available only to the prepaid segment.The new plan has been priced at Rs 499 plan for the postpaid segment.However, compared to pr...
Airtel Broadband users get to ‘carry over’ unused data to next cycle Bharti Airtel said its home broadband users will get to carry over all unused data benefit to the next billing cycle up to a limit of 1,000 GB."This is a first of its kind innovation in the fixed home broadband segment in India. The 'Data Rollower facility will ensure that Ai...
4G prices to stay low for a year – Airtel unveils cheap 1-yr plan If there are people who expect data prices to rise substantially in the next one year, they are probably not working at Bharti Airtel.India's biggest telecom firm by revenue has unveiled long-term recharges that allow users to lock in the current cheap prices for up to a yea...
Reliance Industries to raise Rs 5,000 cr next week via listed debentures Reliance Industries said it would raise Rs 5,000 cr from the debt market by issuing debentures on Wednesday, November 8.Jio has taken the market by stormThe debentures issued will not be convertible to equity shares and will be sold privately (private placement) without ...
Hathway Broadband starts FTTH, data use up 26% in 3 months Hathway Digital said it has started rolling out fiber-to-the-home services in congested areas, and also reported a strong increase in data use after slashing prices and increase quotas.For the three months ended September, an average consumer on Hathway Broadband increased h...
Post Bharti Airtel deal, Tata DoCoMo reaches out to worried subscribers Photo by Adithya VikramTata DoCoMo has started reaching out to customers to prevent them from leaving the network in droves, ahead of a takeover of the mobile operations by Bharti Airtel.Subscribers of Tata DoCoMo, a brand operated by Tata Teleservices, had started porti...
Google’s AWS rival cloud services come to India Google has opened its first data center for third-party cloud services in India at Mumbai.This will enable developers to host their applications, websites and other IT projects within India, enabling faster response times for their customers in the country.Before this, th...
Bharti Airtel ARPU falls below Jio’s; but data usage zooms Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom company by revenue, reported further erosion in its revenue and profit in September quarter compared to the previous June quarter.The company reported revenue of 21,777 cr, down 12.3% compared to a year ago and down 0.8% compared to the...
Bharti Airtel Q2 profit margin up, but ARPU falls Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom company by revenue, reported further erosion in its revenue and profit in September quarter compared to the previous June quarter.The company reported revenue of 21,777 cr, down 12.3% compared to a year ago and down 0.8% compared to t...