- Mukesh Ambani’s telecom disrupter Reliance Jio Infocomm continued to expand its lead over its rivals in January, adding 6.56 million users during the month
- Reliance Jio’s user base was 376.57 million, with Vodafone Idea second at nearly 329 million.
Mukesh Ambani’s telecom disrupter Reliance Jio Infocomm continued to expand its lead over its rivals in January, adding 6.56 million users during the month even as Vodafone Idea’s cash-strapped customer base continued to erode, data from India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) revealed.
At the end of January, Reliance Jio’s user base was 376.57 million, with Vodafone Idea second at nearly 329 million.
Having lost 3.62 million users in the month, the distance between Vodafone Idea and Sunil Mittal-owned Bharti Airtel was less than 1 million at the end of January, and it is highly likely that Vodafone Idea may have fallen to the third position since then if the pattern has continued
In January Bharti Airtel added 854,262 users, bringing its total subscriber base to 328.15 million.
Vodafone Idea has lost some 500,000 cellular broadband subscribers, mostly 4 G LTE customers, bringing its mobile broadband userbase to 117.93 million in January.
By comparison, during the month Bharti Airtel added 4.36 mobile broadband subscribers, bringing its user base to 142.34 million.
Both smartphone subscribers to Reliance Jio are 4 G customers, and they are directly counted as customers of mobile broadband.
State-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has continued to add users, with its subscriber base rising to 119.24 million from 1.22 million.
As of January end, India’s total mobile subscriber base stood at around 1.16 billion, of which 986.42 million were active, TRAI data showed.
Reliance Industries (RIL) will sell 2.3 percent of the Jio Platforms stake to Vista Equity Partners for ~11.367 crores, giving it’s subsidiary a 4.91 trillion equity valuation. This is RIL’s third-largest stake sale in Jio in just over two weeks, with social media giant Facebook and private equity (PE) Silver Lake participating in earlier rounds.
The 2.3 percent stake sale is at a marginal premium to the Silver Lake deal where a 1.15 percent stake has been paid by the PE fund for 5,655.75 crores. The Vista deal thus comes to the Silver Lake deal at a premium of just 0.5 percent.
Three global companies now own 13.4 percent in Jio Platforms now owns. All three transactions are subject to regulatory approvals, with Facebook likely to undergo tighter scrutiny given net neutrality concerns.
All these global investors investing in Jio Platforms will make it further difficult for the rivals of Jio to compete in upcoming times.