Jio Prime membership numbers ring in summer surprise for Reliance investors

Outlook for RIL’s telecom business improved with Jio Prime customer base ahead of estimates

The Street has welcomed the strong customer response to Reliance Jio’s offer and the company’s plan to extend its Prime offer by 15 days. As analysts were anticipating Jio to retain 50-60 million customers after the end of its free period, the Prime membership number of 72 million customers also surprised the Street. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), whose subsidiary is Jio, ended at Rs 1,371.20 on BSE.

This extension will help the company increase its telecom subscriber base from 72 million to its target of 100 million, say analysts. Further, subscribers to the Rs 149 plan have got additional time to migrate to the upgraded Rs 303 plan, which should lead to a higher base of Prime subscribers. The extended period, according to analysts at CLSA, allows for gradual transiting from free to paid services and further cement high-data usage habits.

Jio, they add, could have well over 100 million paid subscribers by March 2018, which could drive an upgrade to the earnings estimate for FY19 and rerate the stock (RIL) significantly.

There are, however, some concerns. The first is delay in monetisation on the back of significant upfront investments, given the three more months of complimentary service, while the other is the indication that the ‘Summer Surprise’ offer is the first of many surprises for RJio’s Prime subscribers. Read more

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