Reliance Jio gets ‘good and bad’ news in second quarter of the year

The second quarter of the year 2023 has been a mixed bag for Reliance Jio. While the Mukesh Ambani-owned company reported a net increase of 11.2 million subscribers for the second quarter of this financial year over the previous three-month period, the underlying mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) growth slowed down.
“ARPU has grown only 0.7% QoQ (quarter-on-quarter) despite one additional day in the quarter, which implies underlying mobile ARPU should have slipped probably from unlimited 5G data – possibly impacting data recharges and some downgrades too,” said brokerage ICICI Securities in a note.
However, while the quarter-on-quarter ARPU growth has seen a drop for the company, the same has seen a growth year-on-year basis. Jio’s ARPU increased 2.5% to Rs 181.7, helped by strong growth in the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriber base which is estimated at about 45% year-on-year. The telecom operator’s FTTH subscriber base stood at 10 million at the end of the quarter, bringing in higher ARPU for the company than mobile subscribers.
The company’s aggressive strategy to expand the Jio Bharat phone subscriber base is said to be hurting its ARPU. Jio Bharat phone is the company’s entry-level 4G device aimed at converting 2G users to 4G using the internet enabled feature phone. The company said that the JioBharat phone, which was launched in July, has gained substantial market share in the non-smartphone segment within the first few months of its launch. “The JioBharat phone will enable digital inclusion for millions of Indians and catalyze India’s transformation to next-gen connectivity solutions. By December 2023, we will also complete the Pan-India rollout of 5G services and set a new global benchmark for the fastest roll-out out of a 5G network across a large nation,” RIL Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh D Ambani said in a statement.
Another thing that is said to have pulled the ARPU down is the growth in data consumption after the rise in 5G adoption. However, while 5G users have increased, there has been no impact on revenue as there has been absolutely no tariff hike. 5G services in India are available at the same price as 4G services and both Airtel and Reliance Jio are not charging users extra for the service.
Reliance set to complete 5G rollout across the country
The company would complete a pan-India rollout of 5G services by December this year, he said in a company statement, making it the “fastest roll-out of a 5G network across a large nation.” Jio has deployed over 1 million 5G cells pan-India with coverage across about 8,000 cities and towns.
“Jio True5G will soon be available pan-India to ushers in a new digital era for Indians. Ubiquitous 5G, JioBharat and JioAirFiber are three big growth engines for Jio which would accelerate market share gains and profitability,” Reliance Jio Chairman Akash Ambani said.