Reliance Jio not preferred operator for number portability

CIOL Writers
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Reliance Jio may be having over 160 million subscribers thanks to its cheapest 4G data plans, and Rs 0 JioPhone but when it comes to mobile number portability, Mukesh Ambani's company is not the preferred choice for subscribers.


According to a study conducted by Kotak Institutional Equities, Reliance Jio is not the preferred destination of subscribers changing operators. Though the incumbents like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular may have been badly hit in terms of revenue and profitability, they haven’t lost on subscribers to Jio as Mobile number portability does not show any material change with the coming of Jio.

Jio’s net port-ins at cumulative 3.8 million between September 2016 and October 2017 is a very low proportion of its overall subscriber base. During the same period the gains by Airtel stood at 9.1 million, Vodafone 6 million and Idea at 5.4 million. This shows that Jio is still not the primary number for the bulk of its customers

“It is important to note that until end-March 2017, Jio’s services were free and the customers did not really have to make a ‘which operator gets my spend’ choice. Once Jio started charging in April 2017, the customer has had to make a choice between similarly priced bundles of Jio and the incumbents,” the study found.

Infact, since Jio's launch, Airtel has been the MNP net-adds leader in the market (9.1 million net gains since September 2016 versus 6 million for Vodafone and 5.4 million for Idea). “Bharti’s relatively higher aggression in the marketplace and better LTE coverage are reflecting in these gains, in our view. MNP performance of Idea and Vodafone remains respectable; the two are perhaps gaining enough in their respective strong circles to mitigate the losses in the weak ones,” Kotak Institutional Equities observed in its report.

"Jio’s still low port-in numbers suggest that Jio has not yet become the primary number for a good proportion of its customers,” Kotak observed. By primary, the brokerage means the mobile number on which the customer gets one-time password from her bank.

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