Lack of M&A Telecom Policy will hurt new entrants and benefit incumbents

Indian Telecom Policy Lacks Mergers AcquistionIn an attempt to capture the possible Revenue Market Share gains, we perform a circle-wise analysis to capture the possible gains for the company. We expect incumbents RMS to improve in established circles.

We highlight that we have relied on incremental market share as a key criteria to determine the steady revenue market share for all circles. Separately, we assume that new GSM entrants will continue to lose market share given their stretched balance sheets and inability to benefit from any meaningful Mergers & Acquisitions (we don’t expect any near-term clarity on M&A policy and this will prevent new entrants being disruptive/gaining scale).

In addition, we expect the state-owned operators to lose RMS because of continuous poor execution. We understand the government is keen to revive the PUS telcos with financial aid; however, despite that, we see a muted chance of PUS operators retaining their present market share. We note the top 3 players – namely Airtel, Vodafone and Idea – combined have gained revenue market share by c350bp over the past three years and we expect the trend to continue.

The recent clarity by the regulator that it will not move towards free roaming is a big positive for incumbents led by Airtel.

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