Reliance Jio emerges as India’s second largest telecom operator overtaking Airtel for first time

Reliance Jio has become the country’s second largest telecom operator for the first time, overtaking Bharti Airtel, in terms of combined adjusted gross revenue (AGR) generated from mobile access services as well as national long distance (NLD) services during the January-March quarter. 

Jio has been the top operator for the past few quarters in terms of mobile access services revenues but it was lagging behind Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel in NLD service revenue, which made it the number three operator when revenues from both the streams were combined.

However, as per data shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for the January-March quarter of 2019, Reliance Jio has overtaken Airtel to report a combined AGR of over Rs 9,985 crore, against about Rs 8,608 crore of the former. Vodafone Idea continues to be the top operator with AGR of about `10,148 crore for the reported period. Going by the revenue growth of the last four quarters, Reliance Jio may become the top operator in the April-June period in terms of combined revenues, as the operator has gradually been increasing its NLD revenues.

Vodafone Idea has managed to stay ahead in NLD revenues largely on the back of their merger.

Airtel was reporting the highest AGR from NLD services till the December quarter but in the March period, Vodafone Idea overtook it. As per Trai, Airtel’s AGR for NLD stood at around `3,468 crore in the April-June 2018 quarter, which decreased to about `2,687 crore in January-March period while that of Vodafone Idea increased from around `2,950 crore in the July-September 2018 quarter to over `3,015 crore in the March period. Reliance Jio too has made progress in NLD AGR from `74.71 crore in the April-June period last year to `146.88 crore in the March quarter. 

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After analysing data for the past four quarters, it is seen that Reliance Jio’s AGR from access and NLD services has increased from about `7,200 crore in April-June 2018 to over `9,985 crore in January-March 2019, while that of Bharti Airtel has declined from about `10,192 crore to `8,608 crore in the same period.

Vodafone Idea, which started to report combined financials after their merger from the July-September quarter, too has reported a decline.

As per data, Vodafone Idea’s access and NLD AGR stood at about `10,478 crore in the September quarter, which has decreased to around `10,148 crore in March quarter.

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