This one chart shows how Reliance Jio brought telecom companies down to their knees
Reliance Jio free services caused revenue from sales growth to fall 15.6% on a year-on-year basis. Post its launch in September the sales growth for the industry declined by 10.2% in the quarter ending March 2017.
- Reliance Jio free services caused Adjusted Gross Revenue of telecom operators to fall 15.6% y-o-y.
- AGR of the industry stood at Rs 40, 831 crore during the January-March 2017 quarter.
- Revenues of telcos declined by 1.1% and 10.2% y-o-y in the December2016 quarter and the March 2017 quarter, respectively.
For months now the Reliance Jio freebies debacle have been making headlines which led to price wars among the telecom operators or accelerated consolidation in the industry.
The Mukesh Ambani backed company was first launched in September 2016 and gained subscribers on the back of free services under its Welcome and Happy New Year offers.
In order to defend subscriber base, incumbent operators started copying the newcomer and offered similar free offers on voice and data calls last year.
However this has caused a 15.6% year-on-year fall in revenues for the telcos, Bhagyashree C. Bhati, analysts at Care Ratings said on July 6.
“According to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) for the telecom industry stood at Rs 40,831 crore during January-March 2017 quarter.
This implies a fall of 15.6% on a y-o-y basis. AGR includes revenues from only telecom services,” the report said.
Revenues of the telecom operators grew nearly 7-7.6% y-o-y in the first two quarters of FY17, before the launch of Jio.
Post Jio’s launch, revenues plunged falling sharply in the quarter ended December 2016 and March 2017.
“The revenues declined by 1.1% and 10.2% y-o-y in the December 2016 quarter and the March 2017 quarter, respectively. This was primarily on account of Reliance Jio which entered the telecom market in September 2016. Free services offered by Reliance Jio created intense competition and price war in the industry that impacted the sales during the last two quarters of 2016-17,” the report said.
Last month, Department of Telecommunications approached the Finance Ministry seeking a cut in non-tax revenues for FY18 nearly 40% to Rs 29,524 crore. The non-tax revenue target from the industry was at Rs 47,304 crore.
Telecom sector debt which was estimated to be Rs 4.6 lakh crore in FY17 will reach Rs 4.8 lakh crore in FY18, a report by ICRA pointed out.
Other demands of the industry as cited in the Care Ratings report are as follows:
- Cut in license fee to 5% from the existing rate of 8%
- Flat 1% spectrum levy
- The deferred payment liability of spectrum be aligned to the life of spectrum i.e. 20 years with a moratorium of 5 years and repayment of 15 years
“The sales growth however is likely to remain weak on a y-o-y basis in the initial period of current financial year 2017-18 on account of ongoing intense competition in the industry compared to 7-7.6% sales growth registered in the first two quarters of 2016-17. This will thus impact the revenues of the government from the sector in the initial period of 2017-18 as license fee and spectrum usage charges (SUCs) are certain percentage of the telcos’ revenues,” the report added.