India’s three largest mobile operators, with more than 60 per cent market share between them, are expected to see data revenue per customer drop sharply as they will be forced to cut data rates to compete with 4G newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Analysts forecast that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will see their data revenue per user drop by as much as 25 per cent over the next year as they lower data tariffs to attract and retain customers as competition intensifies, the Economic Times reported.
Market leader Airtel and number three Idea both reported data revenue per customer declined quarter-on-quarter in Q2 by 2.5 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively, while Vodafone saw data revenue growth slow from previous quarters.
The Times said the three players have already sliced data rates by as much as 67 per cent ahead of Jio’s 4G commercial launch, which, after many delays, is expected this month. And the rate cuts are expected to be extended to low-cost data packages offering as little as 300Mb of data.
Analysts expect Jio to offer free voice services bundled with data, priced at least 25 per cent below the rates of the top three players.
Nitin Soni, a director at Fitch Ratings, forecasts the trio’s data revenue per user will fall by 15-20 per cent over the next year, the Times reported.