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Airtel, Vodafone Idea improve revenue in metros, Reliance Jio becomes stronger: Report

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Telecom operators Airtel and Vodafone have shown some recovery in terms of revenue in metro cities during the September quarter, while Reliance Jio gained strength in a majority of telecom circles, according to analyst reports on revenue data published by telecom regulator Trai.
Research firm UBS observed that revenue of companies from telecom services or adjusted gross revenue (AGR) declined by 0.7 per cent quarter on a quarterly basis and down by 15.4 per cent year-on-year basis.
ICICI Securities market share tracker report said the industry AGR dipped to Rs 32,000 crore due to seasonality and downgrades in postpaid category.”Bharti and VIL (Vodafone India Limited) showed a recovery in metros with Bharti gaining share in metros although Jio’s momentum in other circles remains strong,” report by UBS analysts Navin Killa, Amit Rustagi and Ankit Dubey said.
Airtel’s base market share for access services or mobile and landline services with national long distance services stood at 30.1 per cent while that of Jio was at 26.1 per cent. Vodafone Idea topped the revenue market share with 32.8 per cent.
Reliance Jio has emerged as the top telecom service provider in terms of AGR at Rs 8,271 crore for the July-September quarter for access services The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) latest data showed that newly merged Vodafone Idea recorded an AGR — earnings from mobile phone services — of Rs 7,528 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel at the third position with an AGR market share of Rs 6,720 crore for the said quarter.
UBS report said that Airtel is market leader in six circles which include one metro and three among A category circles and VIL led in five circles including two metro circles and one A category circle.
“Metros accounted for 11.6 per cent industry access revenue, while A circle share in the industry revenue was 40.7 per cent, circle B was 35 per cent and circle C was 12.6 per cent,” the report said.
UBS said that quarter-on-quarter recovery by Bharti and VIL in metros shows their 4G network expansion is gaining traction.
“We expect the pricing environment to remain intense for the next 6-12 months with price increase likely in financial year 2020,” UBS said

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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Airtel Digital TV now offers 100 long-term tariff plans

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Airtel has revamped its DTH offerings of its Airtel Digital TV service with the launch of a number of long term plans. These plans include a UDP pack, Orissa Superstar Regional pack, WB Superstar Regional and more. Airtel Digital TV’s new long term plans are being offered in semi-annual and annual packages.

These new Airtel Digital TV long term plans include a UDP six month pack priced at Rs 799, an Orissa Superstar Regional six-month pack priced at Rs 1,049, and a WB Superstar Regional six-month pack priced at 1,149.

The Telugu Superstar Hindi six month pack and the Kerala Superstar Ultimate pack are priced at Rs 1,397 and Rs 1,398, respectively. The Hindi Value SD six month pack is priced at Rs 1,681.

Annual long term plans include the Hindi Value SD pack priced at Rs 3,081, the Orissa Value Sports SD pack priced at Rs 3,663 and the Karnataka Value Sports pack priced at Rs 4,158.

The company is also offering a flat 10 per cent cashback up to Rs 200 to all of its users who purchase select annual rental plans. The cashback scheme is only valid for customers recharging their DTH plans using the Airtel Payments Bank or Airtel Money. The offer is valid until July 17.

According to a report by TelecomTalk, Airtel Digital TV has launched over 100 long term packs with six months/a year worth of validity.

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Tech

Now, Reliance Jio set to disrupt telecom tower industry

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After creating disruption in the telecom sector, new player Reliance Jio’s unit may become a potential competitor for the tower industry, especially Bharti Infratel, analysts say.

Jio has around 2,20,000 towers and 3,00,000 kilometres of optical fibre. The company’s Board of directors had given the approval for hiving off these assets in December.

“Jio is in the process of demerging its tower and fibre into a separate company. Jio will lease the infrastructure and will look to raise funds in these companies… assets and part of the debt will move to these companies, making Jio asset-light. Part of the future capex will also move. Jio is also open to sharing its tower and fibre with the competition. While we look forward to more details, this can be a potential competitor for Bharti Infratel,” BNP Paribas said in an analyst note after the telecom firm announced its third quarter results last week.

Bharti Airtel along with incumbents Vodafone India and Idea Cellular – now Vodafone Idea after their merger – have been impacted financially after the arrival of Reliance Jio that disrupted the market its free voice calls and dirt-cheap data tariff offers.

An increased user base coupled with a surge in data usage had helped the newest telecom player Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) post a 65% increase in its net profit at Rs 831 crore for the third quarter ended December 2018.

Jio has also set its eyes on the broadband and enterprise segment as they offer huge opportunities. It has announced the acquisition of three multiple system operators (MSOs) which is awaiting regulatory clearances and will provide it infrastructure and manpower.

Credit Suisse in a note said Jio intends to hive off tower and fibre assets and get outside investors in to reduce overall debt levels. “This effectively punctures hopes of tariff increases for other telecom players.”

Though Jio has indicated its tower footprint is potentially larger than the largest tower operator in the country (Indus at around 1,20,000), in a three-player market, there is little strategic merit for three large independent tower companies to co-exist, Goldman Sachs analysts said.

The other two companies are Bharti Infratel and American Tower Corporation. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea also jointly own tower company Indus Towers, which is in the process of merging with Bharti Infratel.

“Entry of a new tower co could potentially result in pressure on Infratel’s rentals unless we see further consolidation in the tower space,” it said.

Recently, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea also hived off their fibre assets, 2,46,000 route km and 1,56,000 route km respectively, into separate units. While Vodafone Idea plans to monetise the fibre assets, Airtel is looking to form an independent fibre company and could also monetise its holdings in the unit.

Analysts say Jio is not in a hurry to raise tariffs until it meets its target of 400 million users. At the end of December, its subscriber base stood at 280.1 million.

“Jio’s focus in the near term remains on adding subscribers and it said it would not tinker with tariffs and risk disrupting their strong subscribers’ momentum. For incumbent telcos, this could mean revenues staying stagnant until Jio reaches its earlier stated target of around 400 million users… the Rs 501 JioPhone plan could continue being offered for the foreseeable future and we forecast 302 million subscribers for Jio by end of FY19,” analysts at Goldman Sachs said.

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Food

Now you can Zomato your food via Paytm: Details inside

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One97 Communications Limited, the parent firm of Paytm on Thursday announced that it has partnered with Zomato to enable food ordering and delivery service through its mobile app.

With this addition, users can now browse their favorite restaurants within the Paytm App and order food instantly. This service is currently live for Delhi-NCR customers on the Paytm Android app and will soon be made available across India and on the Paytm iOS app as well.

Paytm has a strong user-base across tier 2 & tier 3 cities who use its services for a wide array of everyday payments. With this integration, Paytm would introduce the convenience of online food ordering to its customers which will further augment the growth through a strong uptake among its large user-base.

Renu Satti, Senior Vice President-– Paytm said, “Our association with Zomato is a valuable addition to our platform in bringing the convenience of ordering food online through our app. A vast majority of our customers are from the tier 2 & tier 3 cities, with this new addition we are confident of driving the growth of online food ordering further. It is also an important step towards enhancing the overall offerings to our customers. We will continue to invest our efforts in this direction.”

Mohit Gupta, CEO – Food Delivery, Zomato said, “Paytm is the most popular digital payments platform, with extensive reach across the length and breadth of the country. We are excited to be partnering with them to integrate our online food delivery service with their mobile app. This will allow us to reach a much larger user base and add to the overall experience of ordering from Zomato.”

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Tech

Vodafone introduces yearly prepaid plan for Rs 1,499; offers unlimited calling, data benefits and more

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Vodafone India has introduced a new prepaid recharge plan priced at Rs. 1499, which offers unlimited calling and data benefits. The yearly plan is valid for 365 days and also includes Vodafone Play subscritpion and unlimited national roaming.
The plan includes unlimited calling, with 1GB high-speed 3G / 4G data daily and 100 SMSes per day.
The users can download up to 365GB data through the validity period and once the daily limit of 1GB is hit, users can continue with high-speed downloads by paying 50 paise per MB.
Vodafone’s new plan is seen as to counter Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio’s packs and Bharti Airtel’s offers.
The Vodafone plan with compete with Rs 1,699 plan from Reliance Jio. Under this plan, Jio users get unlimited local and national calls without any FUP, and 100 local and national SMS daily. The plan includes access to JioTV, JioMovies and JioSaavn Music, among other apps.
The Jio plan comes with 365 days validity, and offers unlimited high-speed data capped at 1.5GB per day. This means, users can download up to 547.5GB data through the validity at 4G speeds. Also, once the daily limit is hit, the speed can be throttled down to 64Kbps until midnight.

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Tech

Reliance Jio Happy New Year Offer: How to get 100% cashback

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Reliance Jio Friday announced a New Year offer under which it offers 100 per cent cashback on a recharge of Rs 399 in the form of coupons that can be availed on e-commerce portal AJIO.

“Jio in partnership with AJIO has introduced its Jio Happy New Year Offer. The offer provides 100 per cent cashback in form of AJIO coupon. Customers performing recharge of Rs 399 will get 100 per cent cashback in form of AJIO coupon. AIO coupon worth Rs 399 will be credited in ‘MyCoupons’ section of MyJio,” Jio said in a statement.The coupon credited can be redeemed on AJIO app and website on a minimum cart value of Rs 1,000.

“AJIO coupon worth Rs 399 can be redeemed over and above the existing AJIO discounts,” the statement said.The offer is applicable for both existing and new Jio users for recharges done between December 28, 2018, to January 31, 2019.The coupons received during this period can be redeemed on or before March 15, 2019, the statement said.

Reliance Jio has been coming up with New Year offers since the commencement of its business in 2016. Under the scheme, it has been offering services at effectively free rates.

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Tech

Paytm Mall offers huge discount on Google Pixel 3: Details inside

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The latest offer by Paytm Mall is set to provide one of the most popular smartphones, Google Pixel 3 64GB at an effective price of Rs 60,496 only. As per the exciting new offer, users would get a 6% discount on Google Pixel 3, along with an additional cashback worth Rs 6,000.

The same would effectively bring the price down to Rs 60,487 of the ‘Clearly White’ variant, from the current market price of Rs 71,000, only on Paytm Mall.

The ‘Just Black’ variant is available at Rs 60,496.

With power-packed features, Google Pixel 3 ensures that there would never be a dull moment. With a screen size of 13.97cm or 5.5 inches, Google Pixel 3 captures stunning pictures with a Rear and Front Camera of 12.2 MP and 8MP+8MP. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 64-bit processor works best for today’s fast-paced generation and is well-supported by 4GB Ram and 64GB ROM. Lastly, enjoy the latest OS Android Pie 9 with Google Pixel 3 64GB.

The offer is limited as per the availability of the stock.

In terms of specifications, the Pixel 3 sports a 5.5-inch display while the Pixel 3 XL comes with a 6.3-inch display. It will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor along with 4GB RAM and an Adreno 630 GPU. It will be available in two storage variants – 64GB and 128GB.

Both devices include a single rear camera setup, along following the trend of dual camera set up, seen on numerous smartphones today. The Pixel 3 XL includes two 8MP front-facing cameras, one of which can be used for wide-angle selfies and also includes a 12.2MP rear camera.

Connectivity features include Wi-Fi 2.4GHz + 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. The Pixel 3 is backed up by a 2,915mAh battery while the Pixel 3 XL is backed up by a 3450mAh battery.

The new Pixel 3 smartphones will support wireless charging (up to 10 watts) and, Google has also brought in its own charging stand, called the Pixel Stand. The Pixel phones will ship with the latest Android 9 Pie.

 

 

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Tech

No more flight mode, you can soon make calls in air: Govt notifies rules for in-flight, maritime mobile phone services

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People will soon be able to make calls and access internet through their phones during air travel and ship voyage within Indian territory as the government has notified rules for providing such services.

Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies operating in the country can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services in partnership with a valid Indian telecom licence holder.

“These rules may be called the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette,” the notification dated December 14 said.

The in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) can be provided using telecom networks on ground as well as using satellites.

The services can be provided by a valid telecom licence holder in India through domestic and foreign satellites having permission of the Department of Space, it said.

“In case of using satellite system for providing IFMC, the telegraph message shall be passed through the satellite gateway earth station located within India…and such satellite gateway earth stations shall be interconnected with the NLD (national long distance) or access service or ISP licensee’s network for further delivery of service,” the notification said.

The IFMC services will be activated once the aircraft attains a minimum height of 3,000 metres in Indian airspace to avoid interference with terrestrial mobile networks.

The IFMC licences will be granted against annual fee of Re 1 for a period of 10 years and the permit holder will have to pay licence fees and spectrum charges based on revenue earned from providing services.

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Tech

High Court dismisses Vodafone plea for tax refund of over Rs 4759 crore

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The Delhi High Court has dismissed telecom major Vodafone’s plea seeking directions to the Income Tax Department to expeditiously process its claim for refund of over Rs 4,759 crore in respect of returns filed for the assessment years (AYs) 2014-15 to 2017-18. A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Prateek Jalan declined to grant any relief to the company, saying there was merit in the tax department’s argument that substantial outstanding demand was pending against the company and there was likelihood of more demands being made after the assessment for the AYs in question were scrutinised.

The court said the department should have the right to adjust the demands against the refunds that may arise but have not yet been determined due to the ongoing scrutiny proceedings.

“There is some merit in the revenue’s (tax department) argument that substantial outstanding demand are pending against the petitioner. Further, the likelihood of substantial demands upon the assessee after the scrutiny for the AYs is completed, cannot be ruled out. “The Revenue should have the right to adjust the demands against the refunds that may arise but have not yet been determined due to ongoing scrutiny proceedings,” it said in the judgement rejecting Vodafone‘s plea.

The court noted that assessments for the years in question were either facing special audit or pending before the Assessment Officer (AO) for scrutiny and since scrutiny assessment of earlier years had led to raising of substantial demand, the tax department had decided not to process the company’s returns.

“In the facts of the present case, for AY 2014-15, the petitioner (vodafone) has approached the AAR and for AYs 2015-16 and 2017-18, scrutiny assessments are pending before the AO. The AO has exercised discretion under section 143 (1)D of the Income Tax Act not to process the returns considering the fact that substantial demand has been raised on completion of scrutiny assessment of earlier years.

“The petitioner has undertaken two schemes of amalgamation involving merger of certain group companies in order to restructure its business operations and increase operational efficiencies. In light of the above fact, assessments for the AY 2012-13 and 2013-14 are under special audit and any demand that would arise from the processing of the said assessment years are to be allowed to be adjusted against the refund claims,” it said.

The company had claimed that it had received an acknowledgement after it had filed a return and therefore, within a year of the same, the refund ought to have been processed and failing which, interest would be applicable.

Rejecting the contention, the court said, “Intimation or acknowledgement cannot confer any greater right than for the assessee to ask the AO to process the refund and make over the money.” “It is up to the AO, wherever the possibility of issuing a notice under Section 143 (2) exists, or where such notice has been issued, to apply his mind, and decide whether given the nature of the returns and the potential or likely liability, the refund can be given. It does not mean that when an assessment -pursuant to notice under Section 143 (2) is pending, such right to claim refund can accrue.”

“For the above reasons this court is of the opinion that there is no merit in the petitioner’s argument. The writ petition fails and is accordingly dismissed,” it added.

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Tech

To counter Reliance Jio 4G packs, Airtel offers 1.4GB data per day with its new prepaid plan

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To counter Reliance Jio 4G internet packs, Bharti Airtel has come up with a new prepaid plan. Under the new plan, Airtel is offering 1.4GB data per day and unlimited voice calling in Rs 419. The new Airtel prepaid plan is an open market plan which means it is available across the country and can be recharged from company’s offline as well as online store along with the other vendors.

Airtel’s Rs 419 plan comes with a validity of 75 days and also offers 100 free text messages to customers every day.

The news Rs 419 plan will compete with Jio’s Rs 398 and BSNL’s Rs 349 plan. The Jio plan offers 2GB data per day along with unlimited voice calling benefits, 100 SMS per day and complimentary subscription to Jio Apps for 70 days.

Meanwhile, a report by Bernstein claimed thatReliance Jio, the new telecom player, may capture the top position by 2021 on a revenue basis.

“Given the current rate of ongoing customer acquisition, Jio could reach the leading position on a revenue basis by 2021 and on a subscriber basis by 2022,” Bernstein analysts Chris Lane and Samuel Chen said in the report on Monday.

No start-up operator has managed such a feat anywhere and certainly not in a market where penetration levels among the ‘middle classes’ were already high, it said, adding Bharti Airtel had survived extreme Darwinian competition to emerge as a competitive market leader, while Vodafone has the backing of a global giant.

Bernstein expects Jio to reach 28% revenue market share and 26% subscriber share by the end of this financial year (March 2019) as it did not see both Bharti and Vodafone responding directly. “Neither Bharti nor Vodafone Idea have the stomach to engage in a pointless subsidy war. Instead we believe they have accepted their fate, and are looking forward to a time when Jio, having achieved a leading position, starts to monetise their base through higher pricing,” the report said.

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Telecom

Reliance Jio offers Rs 2400 cashback on purchase of Redmi Note 6 Pro

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If you are looking to buy a new smartphone then Reliance Jio has your back. Reliance Jio has come up with a new cashback offer under which customers can get Rs 2400 as cashback on purchase of  Redmi Note 6 Pro.

On Diwali, Reliance Jio has announced a Diwali plan for Rs 1699. If users buy Reliance Jio’s Rs 1699 plan then they will be able to get 100% cashback besides free 4g services, calling and SMS service. The plan is valid for one year.

Under Reliance Jio Diwali plan, users will get 1.50 GB data everyday for a year.

How to avail 100% cashback

Jio has also offered 100% cashback on its Diwali plan. Users can avail the same via Reliance digital coupon. Customers can get the coupons through MyJio App. The coupons can be used for mobile recharge. The coupons are also available at the Reliance digital store, however, jio users need to shop for Rs 5,000 to get them at the store.

Besides, the cashback, users will get 100 SMSes everyday, free subscription of My Jio. Customers can buy the offer till November 30.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio has been the only gainer in the telecom sector in August from a revenue-per-user as well as profitability perspectives, helping it increase the market share sweepstake to 20.8 percent, says a report.

The Mukesh Ambani-led teleco’s market share rose to 20.8 percent in August from 19.6 percent in July, against Vodafone Idea’s subscriber market to 37.9 percent, making it the market leader.

Jio, already the third biggest by number of subscribers, added the maximum number subscribers at 12.2 million, driven majorly by its 4G feature phone launch, it said, adding the competition reported flat numbers or even a decline from the year-ago levels.

On the average revenue per user (Arpu) front, the incumbent telcos have taken a hit due to Jio’s aggressive marketing strategy over the past two years, it said.

At an Arpu of Rs 135, Jio is an “outlier” as this was the highest in the industry in Q1 as against 100-105 for competition. But the same fell steeply to Rs 131.7 per user in the second quarter but still managed to report higher net income of Rs 681 crore.

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