Express news service
NEW DELHI: There is no room for new entrants, as the Indian telecommunications market is now sufficient for three players, said Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Managing Director SP Kochhar. Kochar, in an interview with TNIE, said India’s telecommunications had reached their consolidation stage and therefore there was no room for other operators.
âAny industry starts out with one or two players, then it begins to develop and several numbers of players enter it. After a while the consolidation starts and then at the end we have two or three big players or some serious players. We have reached this stage of consolidation right now, âKochhar said.
Until the last decade India’s telecommunications industry was inundated with operators such as Airtel, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Videocon, Reliance Communications, Vodafone, Idea and the state-owned companies BSNL and MTNL.
Among them, only Airtel, Vodafone and Idea could survive for some time.
However, the entry of Reliance Jio in 2016 disrupted the entire telecommunications market and sparked a price war. Reliance Jio has forced rivals to follow similar strategies: keep prices lower to stay relevant. Subsequently, both Airtel and Vodafone saw their profits and market share decline.
The drop in customs duties and government taxes led the industry to losses and accumulated debts.
âTelecommunications is not a lucrative business because it is a capital intensive industry. Then there are different types of taxes and tariffs. I don’t think there is too much room for others to come. There is no way to get anyone out of it at this time. I think the market will continue with the current set of three players. It’s good enough for the Indian market, âKochhar said.
According to telecommunications regulatory data, Airtel has 30.35% market share while Vi has 23.07% and Jio has 36.58% in October.
And the recent government aid program and the rise in prices for telecom operators have improved their situation.