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Reliance Earnings: Jio sees 70 million subscribers shift from 4G to 5G

It was pointed out that Jio, unlike its competitors, is offering standalone 5G, which is a new mobile network architecture that is not dependent on existing 4G infrastructure to facilitate communications.

It was pointed out that Jio, unlike its competitors, is offering standalone 5G, which is a new mobile network architecture that is not dependent on existing 4G infrastructure to facilitate communications.

Reliance Industries has recently released the transcript of its earnings call for the quarter ending on September 30, 2023. In it, the company highlights that its digital business, Jio Infocomm, has seen the migration of 70 million subscribers from 4G to 5G networks. “The fact on the ground is that more than 85% of the 5G cells deployed in the country today are from Jio. So that is the real reason why you are seeing the rapid adoption on our network as opposed to other operators,” Jio Infocomm’s President Kiran Thomas said during the call, explaining the migration of subscribers to 5G. Thomas said that a majority of Jio’s 5G users come from the youth segment, which he explained are also heavy data users. 

The company says that through its 5G rollout, it is able to offer advanced technologies like network slicing. “Which means that we are able to create dedicated capacity for homes, which are not interfering with the capacity that we’re deploying for mobility, which gives superior service to both audiences,” Thomas explained.

Key details mentioned in the earnings call:

Jio’s financial performance: Jio’s telecom business had an operating revenue of Rs. 44,750 crore this quarter (2nd quarter of FY 2024). Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was Rs. 13,059 crore with the EBITDA margin increasing to 52.8%. The company said that its net debt currently is Rs. 1,17,727 crore down by Rs. 8000 crore compared to March, 2023.

Focus on standalone 5G: Thomas pointed out that Jio, unlike its competitors, was offering standalone 5G. Standalone 5G is a new mobile network architecture that is not dependent on existing 4G infrastructure to facilitate communications. Thomas also said that while other telcos are indicating that their 5G rollouts have led to many users joining their networks, besides Jio, the rest of the telecom industry is, “quite negative when it comes to net adds [of subscribers].” Jio has seen an addition of 11 million subscribers this quarter, taking Jio’s total tally of subscribers to 459.7 million. 

Jio’s performance in enterprise and government sectors: Thomas said that 85% of the larger enterprises and the top 20 banks in the country use its network. He also mentioned that the company is seeing a more than 80% win rate when it comes to open bids in the government sector. 

Rise in average revenue per user (ARPU): Jio’s ARPU for the quarter was Rs.181.7, which is slightly higher than the previous quarter’s ARPU of Rs. 180.5. “The ARPU has been growing again certainly, quarter after quarter, and mostly on account of the improvement in subscriber mix as well as greater data consumption,” head of strategy at Reliance Jio, Anshuman Thakur explained. He said that Jio’s per-capita monthly data usage has increased by 40% on a year-on-year basis to 26.6 GB data usage per user per month.  Jio’s data traffic grew by about 29% to 36.3 billion exabytes on a year-on-year basis. 

Thakur pointed out that the company is not currently charging for 5G services. “We are still rolling out the network. So that data consumption is not leading to any additional revenue at this point in time,” he explained. 


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