Jio's postpaid offer to hit incumbent players ARPU: Jefferies

Last Updated: Fri, May 11, 2018 13:42 hrs
FILE PHOTO: Commuters are reflected on an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, at a bus stop in Mumbai

New Delhi: A day after Reliance Jio announced its postpaid offer at Rs 199, global investment banking firm Jefferies on Friday said the sharp discount launched by Jio would make incumbents respond to it which may further cut average revenue per user (ARPU) for Bharti and Idea.

Jio on Thursday launched a new postpaid plan at Rs 199 offering 25GB of data and unlimited voice and SMS. It is also offering international roaming rates of Rs 2/min for voice, Rs 2/MB for data and Rs 2/SMS. It also offers Rs 500/day roaming pack with Unlimited voice/data/SMS. The subscription will start from May 15.

"This is at 50 per cent discount to comparable packs by incumbents and 60 per cent discount to postpaid ARPUs. We have been concerned on Postpaid as it contributes 20 per cent plus of revenues. With the sharp discount launch by Jio we expect incumbents to also respond and thus expect further decline in ARPU for Bharti and Idea. This is likely Jio's first offer aimed at enterprise market. Remain cautious on the sector," the Jefferies report said.

"We have been concerned on the postpaid revenues for incumbents given the cost to consumers is 3x of prepaid. Postpaid while making up only 7 per cent of Top 3 operators subscribers, contribute 20 per cent plus of their revenues. While the ARPU for the segment had dropped 25 per cent it was lower than that witnessed in prepaid," it added.

" Incumbents will, in our view, have to respond to Jio's plan and cut plan prices. Any 10 per cent cut in postpaid prices will lead to around 2 per cent cut in overall ARPU. Any 10 per cent cut in postpaid prices will lead to 12 per cent/6 per cent EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) hits for Idea and Bharti respectively," the report said.

The report further said postpaid churn is lower and it is believed that shift to Jio will be gradual. "Around 40 per cent of the postpaid customers are corporate, and these would be a key target, in our view."

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