Birla sees ‘fittest three’ surviving
Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, whose Idea Cellular Ltd is set to merge with Vodafone India, sees only a handful of businesses surviving a price war roiling India’s telecom market.
“The telecom sector is undergoing a very turbulent and difficult phase,” Birla said in an interview. “Probably the fittest three will survive.” See Page 9
approvals and involves two of the Tata group companies—tata Teleservices Ltd and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd (TTML).
Airtel will absorb Tata’s mobile phone operations across the country in 19 circles (17 under Tata Teleservices and two under TTML). These circles represent the bulk of India’s population and mobile customer base.
Tata Teleservices had a subscriber base of 44 million and revenue market share (RMS) of 5% at the endofthejunequarter, according to Goldman Sachs. With the merger, Airtel’s overall subscriber base is now expected to increase to as much as 351 million as against the combined Vodafone-idea’s projected 391 million consumer base.
Airtel’s RMS will also rise to more than 40% from 35.6% in September, a tad short of the combined 42% RMS of Vodafone-idea. Tata’s average revenue per user stood at Rs159/month, lower than that of Airtel and Vodafone, but higher than Idea’s.
The acquisition will also bolster Airtel’s position vis-a-vis Reliance