Ever since the launch of Reliance Jio, Airtel has been losing on many metrics. However, the recent analysis by Goldman Sachs revealed that Airtel is back on track to retain its lost glory.
In April, India's leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel was able to add more active users than its rival Reliance Jio for the first time since the launch of Jio in September 2016. Analyzing visitor location register (VLR), brokerage firm Goldman Sachs stated that Airtel racked up 2.6 million active users to its mobile network compared to 400,000 adds by Jio. According to Goldman Sachs, customer's penchant towards incumbent players who cut their profit margins to pass on benefits to customers is on rising after Jio went commercial this March
The brokerage firm predicted tough months ahead for Reliance Jio citing that 400,000 active (VLR) subscriber additions in April showcase "its fourth straight month of deceleration."
Another merchant banker ICICI Securities endorsed above prediction by saying despite nominal tariffs levied by Jio compared to its counterparts, active 4G users on Jio only accounts for 71 percent of the total customers of its network, which is disappointing. The possible reason might be people are using Jio as a backup SIM.
On the other hand, the percentage of total active users on Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Vodafone is as high as 98 percent. However, Jio paid customer base has skyrocketed from 72 million in March to 80 million in April.
Overall, Jio needs to keep the momentum going forward or else it may falter in front of incumbent players who are gaining back their lost customer base. It will be interesting to see if Jio still go-ahead with the aggressive pricing strategy to combat incumbent operators.