The Sunil Bharti Mittal-promoted Bharti Airtel Ltd has registered a significant increase in market share by revenue in the top six circles since the September quarter of 2012-13, according to data provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
The market share gain will help Airtel maintain its position as market leader in the face of the onslaught of Mukesh Amabani-promoted Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
Bharti Airtel's has posted growth of 155 basis points (bps), while Idea and Vodafone gained 40 bps and 30 bps respectively. One bps is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Even in circles where revenue growth was lowest for operators, Bharti Airtel's market share gains were the highest.
But the big impetus comes from the top six circles that account for 46 per cent of the industry revenues. Except for Maharashtra, where the New Delhi-based company has seen a marginal decline, in five other circles - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai - the company has increased its market share between two percentage points and six percentage points since September 2012-13, the Trai data shows.
In Tamil Nadu, Airtel has made sharp gains, adding over 400 bps in market share since 15 March. During the same period, it added 180 bps in market share in Karnataka, 400 bps in Delhi, 300 bps in Andhra Pradesh and 200 bps in Mumbai. On a pan-India basis, Airtel's market share has risen 200 bps to 33 per cent, the highest in seven years.
Sharp gains have also been seen in Bharti's incremental revenues since 2013-14 - from 32 per cent at the end of March 2014 to 66 per cent in the second half 2016-17.
These gains have come at the expense of smaller companies. For instance, since September 2012-13, the market share of other companies - including Aircel and excluding Airtel, Vodafone and Idea - fell from 42 per cent to 34 per cent.
The fact that data consumption is tilted strongly in favour of higher per capita income circles and that Airtel has made rapid strides in these circles makes it evident that Jio isn't going to have it easy in terms of making inroads in the market.