The regulator released monthly subscriber (subs) and MNP (mobile number portability) data for Nov’17. Industry-active (VLR) subs dipped by 19.4mn due to 1) SIM consolidation with challengers announcing exits; 2) rise in tariffs by Reliance Jio on 19 Oct, and off-the-shelf bundled packs launched by top-3. RJio’s net add stood at just 3.7mn (vs. 12.7mn in Oct’17); we believe the trend continued in Dec’17 which may have led to Reliance Jio cutting price by ~15% in popular 84- days pack from 9 Jan. Bharti Airtel (Bharti) net add was healthy at 7.6mn; meanwhile, Vodafone and Idea added 4.1mn and 2.6mn respectively. RJio captured active subs market share of 12.3% and its active subs base dipped slightly to 81% of its total subs. Industry mobile broadband (MBB) subs rose 10.7mn (vs. 15.3mn in Oct’17) and RJio, with net MBB subs add of 6.1mn, is market leader with 45.8% market share. MBB net add for Bharti was 2.4mn, while Vodafone and Idea added 1.7mn and 1.9mn subs. Industry MNP churn rate rose to 1.4%, possibly due to RCom subs porting-out. Industry-active subs dipped by 19.4mn led by RCom’s subs drop of 30mn
* Industry-active subs base dipped by 19.4mn to 1,006mn (+3.9% YoY) due to 30mn
subs decline for RCom. RJio net add was just 3.7mn (vs. 12.7mn in Oct’17) to 124mn. Bharti leads the net add with 7.6mn (vs. average 1.9mn in past six months); meanwhile, Tata Tele and Telenor lost 4.0mn and 1.1mn subs. Vodafone and Idea reported significant improvement with net add of 4.1mn and 2.6mn subs.
* RJio captured 12.3% (+60bps MoM) active subs market share and Bharti’s active subs market share rose to 28.5% (+128bps MoM). Vodafone and Idea’s market share rose to 19.9% and 19.8%, up 78bps and 63bps respectively.
* Rural subs dipped by 3.1mn while rising for Bharti / Idea – they added 2.6mn / 0.3mn. Vodafone saw a decline (down 1.6mn). RJio rural subs net add stood at 1.8mn.
RJio active subs dip slightly to 81% of total subs (vs. 82% in Oct’17)
* Post launch, RJio’s active subs as percentage of total subs deteriorated to a meagre 71% of its total subs in Apr’17. However, active subs bounced to 82% (Chart 1) during Oct’17, though witnessing a slight dip in Nov’17 to 81%.
* Notably, active subs as % total subs dipped across circles, except in Mumbai (+110pps), Gujarat (+1pps) and Maharashtra (flattish).
Adjusting for RJio’s active subs, MBB subs market share stood at 40.7%
* Industry MBB subs net add was 10.7mn in Nov’17 vs. 15.3mn in Oct’17. This was led by 6.1mn net add by Reliance Jio to 152mn; and 6.1mn net add for top-3.
* Adjusted for active subs, RJio’s MBB market share stood at 40.7%; while Bharti’s market share was 22.1%. Vodafone and Idea’s market share was 16.5% and 10.8%, respectively.
Industry MNP churn rate rose to 1.4% (vs. 0.5% average in past six months)
Industry porting rose to 16mn in Nov’17 (vs. average 6mn earlier), which workouts to MNP churn rate of 1.4%. MNP churn could have risen as RCom is shutting 2G/3G services and saw subs loss of 30mn.
Active subs: Industry lost 19.4 mn subs
Active subscribers or visitor location register (VLR) is a temporary database of subs who have roamed into the particular area which an operator serves. Each BTS is served by exactly one VLR, hence the unique registration. The VLR data is calculated on the basis of active subs in VLR on the date of peak VLR of the particular month for which the data is being collected. This data is taken from switches having a purge time of not more than 72 hours.
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