New Delhi: During the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal, aggregate revenue growth for the top-3 operators moderated to 1% sequentially.
Reliance Jio reported the highest revenue growth at 4% QoQ as compared to Bharti’s 2% sequentially and Vodafone Idea’s 5% QoQ decline.
Jefferies said that while sector revenues have grown 40% from trough levels in FY19 and have recovered to the previous peak, growth has moderated.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio gained 120bps and 60bps market share vs FY21 respectively.
As per its analysis, Bharti Airtel continued to outperform on operating metrics with the highest average data and voice usage, implying higher adoption of unlimited plans.
The Data traffic of Bharti is 17% QoQ and Jio are 22% QoQ.
Both companies saw data throughput per BTS rise in 1Q.
Jefferies said that Bharti Airtel’s rapid investment in broadband sites is likely to drive further market share gains.
To increase the ARPUs in India, the recently announced tariff tweak for prepaid and postpaid services is a “small step” in its direction, said the Bharti Airtel Chief Executive, Gopal Vittal.
Vodafone Idea has raised the 2G rates in 13-14 circles and will go nationwide in the coming months. The company will raise tariffs for other segments as opportunities arise with uprising revenues.
There are two key themes playing out in Indian telcos over the next few months.
The sector revenue growth will pick up led by tariff hikes from Bharti/VIL, and while the upcoming launch of Jio Phone Next may cause delays in further tariff hikes, VIL’s stretched balance sheet will likely accelerate the pace of market share shifts towards Bharti/Jio and may lead to relief measures from the government,” Jefferies said.
In 1Q FY22, aggregate EBITDA for the top-3 operators grew 2% QoQ, marginally above 1% QoQ revenue growth, resulting in 30bps margin expansion to 46%. Margin expansion was driven by Bharti Airtel, the brokerage said.
Reliance Jio continues to see limited benefits of operating leverage resulting in flat margins despite healthy 4% QoQ revenue growth.