The telecom sector’s cell subscriber web additions moderated to about 2.2 million (22 lakh) in April this yr, with analysts blaming the ‘muted’ numbers on the second wave of COVID and lockdowns.
After a robust fourth quarter of 2020-21, the place the business added 27.2 million subscribers, April was a “weak month” with solely 2.2 million web additions, UBS mentioned in its report on Tuesday.
“We attribute this to the start of the second wave of COVID,” a UBS word mentioned.
As per knowledge launched by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Bharti Airtel added solely 0.5 million (5 lakh) subscribers in April, towards 4.8 million web additions by bigger rival Reliance Jio.
Troubled Vodafone Thought Ltd (VIL) shed 1.8 million subscribers in April after displaying some enhancing momentum in February and March.
Whereas Jefferies’ report noticed that the sector’s reported subscriber additions had “moderated” to 2 million because of lockdowns, a word by ICICI Securities mentioned consumer addition had slowed on account of COVID second wave and lockdown.
“Jio led the sector with 4.8 million web provides because of JioPhone provide. Bharti’s subscriber additions moderated to 0.5 million because of 4.5 million city subscriber decline,” Jefferies’ report mentioned.
It added that though VIL had misplaced 1.8 million subscribers, “its city web provides had been the very best at 3.4 million”.
“Its excessive rural subscriber share might be focused by Bharti and Jio for market share good points which ought to hold tariff hikes at bay,” the Jefferies’ word identified.
Jio was the one telco to see web additions in each city and rural markets in addition to metros/A/B and C circles.
Jio’s market share in rural areas at 34 per cent has scope to rise on condition that its market share in city areas is greater at 38 per cent, Jefferies famous.
Pointing to the most recent subscriber tendencies rising from TRAI knowledge, Emkay, in its report, mentioned, “Second wave-led cracks begin to seem”.
“Partially impacted by the second wave of COVID, April was a muted month with web subscriber additions restricted at 2.2 million versus a median of 5.4 million within the final six months,” the report mentioned.
VIL subscriber base contracted by 1.8 million “equal to the good points made in February and March 21”.
“With extra stringent lockdowns throughout states in Might, our Q1 projections are on the conservative facet, with Jio anticipated so as to add 5 million subscribers and Bharti’s base remaining steady,” it forecast.