Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio pipped Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea in April-June as top revenue earner from telecom services at Rs 10,900 crore within three years of commencing commercial operations, according to the latest financial data released by telecom regulator Trai.
This assumes significance as Reliance Jio stormed into the highly-competitive telecom sector in September 2016 with its disruptive voice and data offerings, while Bharti Airtel had launched its services way back in 1995.
Vodafone Idea came into existence in August last year after merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
The incumbents Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea recorded adjusted gross revenue (AGR), earned from the sale of telecom services, of Rs 10,701.5 crore and Rs 9,808.92 crore, respectively, during the quarter, showed the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
"RJio AGR (incl NLD) rose 9 per cent year-on-year to Rs 10,900 crore, and finally became the No. 1 operator. The AGR growth is significantly higher than the reported revenue growth of 5.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter due to reducing losses on interconnect usage charges which is reflected in terms of lower access and roaming charges," ICICI Securities said in its report.
The new entrant now has 31.7 per cent AGR market share. Bharti Airtel retained its market share of about 30 per cent while Vodafone Idea share slipped to 28.1 per cent, according to ICICI Securities.
"Following a one-off quarter, Bharti Airtel reported a 20 per cent jump QoQ in revenues with normalised revenue market share of 29.8 per cent. Revenue rebound was seen across telecom circles, while the top-seven revenue contributing circles recorded 26 per cent QoQ and 7 per cent YoY growth," Emkay Global said in a report.
On the industry's AGR report card ICICI Securities notes said that the growth has been broad-based with lone circle to report AGR decline was Mumbai (down 8 per cent YoY) and Rajasthan reported highest growth of 28.5 per cent YoY to Rs 1,500 crore.
Industry watchers noted Jio was number in AGR in 14 circles, Airtel in three circles and Vodafone Idea in 5 circles.
State-run telecom firms BSNL clocked AGR of Rs 4,295.96 crore and MTNL Rs 407.65 crore during the first quarter of the current fiscal.
In the same quarter, Reliance Jio became the country's largest telecom operator with a subscriber base of 33.13 crore, surpassing Vodafone Idea which on Friday reported a decline in its user base to 32 crore by June 2019.
RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani speaking at the company's AGM earlier this month had said that Jio has amassed 34 crore mobile subscribers now.