TECH SUPPLIER Oct 2021 - Market Perspective - Doc # AP46314321

India's Mobile Communications Market Update: Signs of Recovery

By: Shiv Putcha

Abstract

India's communications SPs have just barely survived the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still ongoing signs of instability, with Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel consolidating their relative positions. However, Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)/Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are faced with seemingly existential struggles. Mobile connections have finally bottomed out and are showing signs of recovery. March 2021 was the first growth month in nearly two years, with nearly 13 million net additions and all operators registering gains. "With high debt and liability exposure, capex levels of communications SPs in India continue to be subdued. This sentiment impacted the recent auction, which generated only US$10.6 billion, a small figure relative to the amount of spectrum put up for auction," says Shiv Putcha, adjunct research director, IDC Asia/Pacific. "The 5G auction continues to get delayed because of the same issues," he adds.


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