With EBITDA halved since Jio's launch, Indian mobile operators face tough brand choices

Android Panel Survey: Smartphone Users Prioritize Trust, Technology Strength, and Value for Money in their Ideal Service Provider

July 2, 2018

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- According to the latest Strategy Analytics Service Provider Strategies report “India Mobile Operators: Brand Associations in a Hyper-Competitive Market” 8 out of 10 Indian Android Users are highly satisfied with their service provider, but churn remains high. The ideal Smartphone Vendor and Service Provider share many values in the eyes of users: trusted brands offering the latest technology and value for money.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Jio’s rapid 4G network build and hyper-aggressive pricing resulted in its rivals losing 31% of service revenue and 46% of EBITDA between 4Q16 and 4Q17;
  • Data traffic has increased 14x since Jio’s launch, with the 1Q18 increase in traffic 2.7x higher than all traffic in 2Q16;
  • Smartphone users view a fast network as the top characteristic of an ideal service provider, with great coverage in third place behind value for money. The AppOptix panel polled 1,000 Indian Android owners in Q2 2018 on brand perceptions, satisfaction and interest in new features.
  • Jio customers attach higher associations to the ideal provider having the latest technology and being different from other brands.

Phil Kendall, Director Service Providers, noted “Network competition has increased dramatically in India, with Jio on course to reach 99% 4G population coverage by the end of 2018. Its rivals are now in the process of consolidating down to Vodafone-Idea, Airtel, BSNL and MTNL, as they all look for scale to sustain the increases in capital intensity needed to match the coverage and capacity standards Jio is setting. Their CAPEX increased from 20% of service revenue in 2015 to 30% in 2017 and is still increasing.”

David Kerr, VP at Strategy Analytics, noted “The next wave of device purchasers attach more importance than average to service provider brands that are innovative, unique, with a fresh, new, collaborative approach. Jio’s largest rivals, Vodafone-Idea, Airtel, and BSNL, will need to work hard to build advanced, innovative, customer-friendly brands that can still compete on the ‘basics’ of a high quality network experience.”

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Strategy Analytics: With EBITDA Halved Since Jio's Launch, Indian Mobile Operators Face Tough Brand Choices (Graphic: Business Wire)

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