2017 was a year of turmoil for telecom industry. Much anticipated launch of Reliance Jio hastened long awaited consolidation in industry. Price disruption was expected from a new entrant with a very deep pocket. However massive price cut was unexpected and scary. It led to massive consolidation among player and many exits. By year end only 3 major private players are left. Last year all experts predicted hard days for industry but the scale took most of them by surprise.
Experts predict consolidation to complete in year 2018 and stability thereafter. However most of them are going to be WRONG again!!
Few things are certain.
- Consolidation which started in 2017 is going to complete in 2018. Tata and Uninor subscribers will move to Airtel creating a player with 33% market share as per last report.
- Voda and Idea merger will result into largest player with approximately 40% market share.
- RCOM and MTS subscribers are up for grabs and will be gobbled up mostly by Airtel, Jio and Voda+Idea combined.
- Aircel will have to exit the market without much incentive and their subscriber will face same choice as that of RCOM/MTS.
Aircel + RCOM + MTS subscribers will be almost equally captured by Top-3 players. This will result in clear 1,2 and 3 position holder at Pan India level. However another disruption by Jio is inevitable. They will aim for Top-2 slot in most circle dethroning Airtel or Voda+Idea.
State level Numero Uno position will be more pronounced. Airtel or Vodafone+Idea will be clear leader in most of the places.
Fight for number-2 position will be intense. Currently this position is also held by Airtel or Voda+Idea in all circles except J&K, Assam and North East.
Jio would take a clear shot at this position in half of the circles. They are expected to dethrone current players in 9 out of 22 circles.
There are many more technological changes expected in 2018. However since this blog is focused on VLR market share, they will be covered in subsequent blogs.