Reliance Jio, India’s newest telecom operator is set to add almost 50 mln users to its Prime platform, according to reliable sources.
As of now, the company has added close to 43.5 mln, with another 3-4 mln additions expected in the remaining 2.5 days.
On average, the company added 1.55 mln Prime customers per day over the last one month. For the record, ET Now, the television channel from the Times Group, yesterday reported that only 16 mln connections availed of the Prime offer.
Prime membership sign-ups are important because they serve as a good indicator of how many of the 100 mln plus free subscribers of the company are really in it for the long term, and how many were interested only in the free offer. The company allocates more data for Prime members compared to others for the same recharge value.
Jio’s reported sign-ups for Prime is largely along expected lines.
It is estimated that out of the 100-105 mln connections that the company has at present, around 30% are secondary connections taken by individuals to get extra free data.
Out of the remaining 70 mln unique subscribers, Jio is expected to convert about two thirds to the Prime loyalty program, while the others will remain opportunistic customers.
The operator has set a deadline of Mar 30 for sign-ups for the loyalty membership program, but is widely expected to extend the deadline.
With this, the company is likely to end up with a paying customer base of between 50-60 mln, including both Prime members and non-prime members.
This number is also in line with analyst projections, such as those of CyberMedia Research, which predicted that the operator will be able to retain only around 45% of its current subscribers once it goes pay on Saturday. That projection implied a number of 45-50 mln, very much in line with the actual number.
Some brokerages had predicted that 80% of the subscribers will convert into paying users. However, these projections did not take into account the extra SIMs that some data-hungry customers had taken for availing the trial offer.
TO BEAT AIRTEL?
At 45-50 mln, the Reliance Industries company will become the largest provider of paid broadband services in the country if at least 80% of Prime members subscriber to some plan or the other.
The current market leader, Bharti Airtel, had a combined user base of 37.7 mln for its 3G and 4G services at the end of December. This was down from 41.3 mln three months earlier.