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General News Reliance Jio becomes fifth-largest telco, 72mn paid subscribers credit positive..
Reliance Jio becomes fifth-largest telco, 72 million paid subscribers credit positive: Moody’s

NEW DELHI: Credit ratings firm Moody’s Wednesday said that new telecom player Reliance Jio Infocomm’s addition of 72 million Jio Prime subscribers is credit positive and the telco has become the fifth-largest operator in the country.

"Reliance Jio has enrolled 72 million paying subscribers for its telecom services. This is credit positive as the subscriber enrolment reduces cash-flow uncertainty of the telecom business," the US-based firm in a statement said.

Taking market consolidation into account, Moody’s said that the new telecom entrant has become India’s fifth-largest operator by subscribers addition trailing with nearest public sector rival BSNL with 100 million customers and stays ahead of Tata group’s telecom arm Tata Teleservices (50 million subribers).

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio that has spent nearly Rs 2 lakh crore in rolling out fourth-generation (4G) network, last week said it enrolled 72 million paid customers.

Moody’s in its finding attributed top slot to Vodafone-Idea combine, followed by Bharti Airtel and Telenor on the pro forma basis for respective mergers and acquistions.

We expect a significant portion of the 72 million subscribers to opt for the Rs 303 plan, given that is the minimum plan that gives complimentary services for three months, Moody’s in a statement said, adding that since the price plan does not require the subscriber to commit beyond the 28 days, they are free to switch to any telco at any time after that.

The firm also cautions that the Jio Prime membership would need to continue to be competitive and service quality would need to be maintained at high levels in order to retain customers.

On 21 February, Reliance said it had enrolled just over 100 million subscribers for its introductory offer of its telecom services under which subscribers were not required to make any payments until 31 March 2017.

On March 31, it has extended Jio Prime membership to another 15 days that effectively means that those enrolling to Jio Prime by April 15 by paying Rs 99 along with their first purchase of the telco’s Rs 303 or other plans of higher amounts will get services till July end on a “complimentary basis,” under the “Summer Surprise” offer.

Moody’s noted that the incumbent telecom operators were already expanding their 4G network coverage and were lining up price plans to compete with new rival Jio’s offerings.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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