Nearly half of Reliance Communications port-outs being gained by Airtel, says Sunil Bharti
With competition heating up in the telecom sector it has become a fight for 'survival of the fittest' operator. Here's what India's largest telecom operator's chairman has to say about its competition.
- Airtel is gaining 45% of the numbers ported out of RCom.
- The company added over 31 lakh subscribers in October.
- It has also begun shifting of Tata Teleservices subscribers on to its network.
Citing further consolidation in the telecom sector, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal has said that the market will consolidate into a three player market in the next two years.
On the issue of losing market share to the soon to be merged entity of Idea-Vodafone, Mittal said that Airtel was ‘determined,’ in a report by Times of India on Friday.
“Nine operators are gone and their revenues are getting distributed, we are picking more than others. Even in RCom we are getting 45% of the port-outs. The brand is pulling,” Mittal said.
Airtel had a total of 28.51 crore subscribers at the end of October, the latest data by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.
The company had added over 31 lakh subscribers in October alone, whereas Vodafone and Idea Cellular had added around 8 lakh and 7 lakh subscribers each.
Airtel on Wednesday announced that Tata Teleservices customers will start transitioning to its own mobile network under an Intra Circle Roaming (ICR) arrangement.
The company is estimated to gain 4 crore Tata Tele subscribers and close to 178 MHz of additional spectrum.
When news broke the last month that Reliance Communications will be shutting its 2G services from December 1, Airtel and Vodafone were prompt to lure in RCom subscribers with an advertisement.
“Airtel welcomes Reliance Communications customers. Switch to India’s fastest network without changing your number. Enjoy unlimited calling and lots of data. Call 1800-103-1111,” Airtel’s ad on October 28 read.
The telecom sector that is in the midst of intense competition from Jio is estimated to become a five player market soon. Now Mittal has stated that it will dwindle down to a three player market in another two years.
“Until the newcomer (Reliance Jio) signals peace. It's up to him. He has a strong balance sheet but we are equally determined to stay at number one position. May be March 2018, or surely by March 2019, it has to settle down with three operators,” Mittal said.
Commenting on market share, Mittal said, “Tata's 4 per cent and Telenor's 2.5 per cent, make it 6.5 per cent. Even if we take only 3.5 per cent out of that we will be at 37.5 per cent and Vodafone-Idea will be around 40 per cent. They have to lose 1.5 per cent and we have to gain 1.5 per cent. We are already gaining ground in the market. We are determined.”