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Extended Summary: [Must read] Decoding the Reliance Jio Phone phenomenon
Mumbai: Once every year, shareholders of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Indias most valuable company, gather to hear their chairman speak on oil and gas, petrochemicals, refining and marketing and retail.
The last one devoted the first 18 paragraphs to its legacy businesses.
Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the RIL unit that rattled the industry with mobile phone services launch last September, was front and centre.
These includedJio Phone users getting unlimited data for just Rs153 per month, albeit with a fair usage policy of half a GB per day.
to protect against misuse of the free Jio Phone offer..
A standing ovation followed.
Mukesh Ambani peppered his speech with multiple adjectives: Team Jio stunned the world.
It has been only 10 months since the launch of Jio.
Jio has broken one world record after another..
First, nobody believed we could acquire customers fast enough to justify our Rs200,000-crore (Rs2 trillion) investment in the worlds largest greenfield 4G LTE all-IP network.
Reiterating that more than 100 million people signed up for Jio in under 170 days, something he had disclosed at last yearsAGM, Ambani insisted this was the fastest adoption of any technology service, anywherefaster than even Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype.
5 billion) minutes of voice and video calls every single day.
20 on BSE, while those of its larger rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd andIdea Cellular Ltd were down 2.
On Monday, 24 July, the next trading day,Reliance shares closed at an all-time high of Rs1,616.
He proposes to end this shortage by building a data-strong network.
with the highest speeds and the best coverage.
Ambani simultaneously spoke of his plans to offer digital freedom to Jio Phone users beginning 15 August by giving them access to unlimited data.
that is one-thirtieth the price..
The rider, however, is a fair usage policy of half a GB per day, to ensure that bandwidth is fairly apportioned.
According to Ambani, Jio will soon have over 10,000 Jio offices across India.
The deposit of Rs1,500 for Jio Phone is refundable after three years; however, while this makes it effectively free, there is an opportunity cost for users.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note to clients on 21 July, We do not see Jio being able to penetrate the mass market with the announced offer as we see the monthly price of Rs153 and Rs1,500 initial deposit as still being steep for low-income consumers.
RJio is targeting the feature phone market and targeting five million sales of the device, which is achievable by our analysis, Jayanth Kolla, co-founder and partner at digital technology research and advisory firm Convergence Catalyst, said.
Considering the life of mobile devices currently, we expect a fair amount of these deposits being uncollected or not returned to consumers..
which essentially is revenue for the company, Kolla added..
He pointed out that the Rs153 unlimited voice and data pack offer, which translates to around Rs139 as average revenue per user, or ARPU, (after adjusting for taxes) is just marginally above the current industry average ARPUof Rs133 (after taxes).
However, considering that this is a feature phone, and not a smartphone that can support a number of third-party apps, and the device does not support tethering of data (using as a wifi-hot spot) and comes with only a 2.
There is a Google Internet (led by Google products such as Search, Gmail, YouTube, etc.
and, in India, this device-plus services offering is RJios attempt at on-boarding and creating an RJio Internet for a specific segment of consumers, he added..
While we await the fine print of the Jio Phone, our initial analysis suggests the impact on larger telcos like Bharti, and DTH operators like Dish TV, will be neutral to marginally negative, Goldman Sachs researchers said in a 24 July note to clients.
However, he cautions that since Reliance Jio under current regulations needs to pay an interconnect usage charge (IUC) to competitors for terminating voice calls on other networks, this could be detrimental to its bottom line.
with the tsunami of calls originating from Reliance Jios network, Airtel loses 21 paisa for every minute that is carried on its network..
This has resulted in a loss of Rs550 crore per quarter for Airtel alone.
In a 21 March note, Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, noted that more than 400 million feature phones were sold globally in 2016 and we saw smartphone market growth slow to 3% y-o-y, portraying that easy days of smartphone growth are over.
Close to 200 million 4G feature phones will be potentially sold in India in the next five years, bridging the digital divide, presenting an opportunity for original equipment manufacturers as well as telecom operators, said Counterpoint Research.
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