Arun Sarin, the ex-CEO of Vodafone, shared his thoughts on how telecommunications companies can survive amidst competition. Sarin stated that he believes that pricing power can only come through innovation. He also estimated that as time goes on, the Indian telecommunications market will consist of only three players: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Jio.
If this were to happen, he thinks the customer would be in a good place, and companies would be aggressively competing against one another in a price war.
As of right now, the telecommunications industry consists of 13 players.
When Idea and Vodafone merge, the combined entity is going to be quite strong in terms of revenue and subscribers. Last week, Airtel acquired Telenor India, which means that Telenor will no longer be present in the Indian marketplace.
Even though Sarin acknowledges that Jio’s free offers may impact the incumbents’ revenues in a negative way, he still believes that Jio has the right vision of what mobile companies should be in the years to come. In the near future, he believes that voice and text messaging will become a part of bundled products with data at its core.
Finally, he said that there will be different costs that will depend on one’s usage. In other words, power users will need to buy more expensive bundles than typical users.
Consolidation in the industry can lead to positive things like improved quality of service and better prices, but the analysts also warn us of job losses that may happen as a direct result of such mergers.