Reliance Jio in the black with Rs504-cr Q3 net profit

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, which continued to make losses for almost a year with is low tariffs and price wars has reported a net profit of Rs504 crore for the October-December 2017-18 quarter agains6t a loss of Rs271 crore in the previous quarter.

Jio's disruptive launch late in 2016 that sparked a price war in India's cut-throat telecom sector, however, left incumbent telcos deep in the red, driving down margins and forcing consolidation.

Reliance Jio, with over 160 million subscribers, turned positive ''in only the second quarter of commercial operations'', logging a net profit of Rs504 crore, RIL said.

Reliance Jio has disrupted the telecom industry with free voice calls and cheap data since its launch in September 2016. The telecom start-up, which started commercial operations in Q2 FY18 with a loss of Rs271 crore, has been blamed for falling profits of industry peers.

Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd, the second and third among India's top three telecom companies, agreed to merge while Bharti Airtel, India's biggest telecom service provider, reported falling profits for six straight quarters.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned company, which upended the market with its initially free voice and data and now much cheaper mobile internet services, has posted a revenue of Rs6,879 crore, up nearly 12 per cent on quarter. Voice calls remain free for life for the 160 million plus subscribers of the operator, which has come out with tariff plans across price ranges and even cash back offers to get more market share.

Reliance Jio said it has continued its strong subscriber growth trend with gross adds during the quarter of 27.8 million as against 19.5 million in the trailing quarter.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) stood at Rs154 per subscriber per month in December quarter against Rs156.4 in September quarter. Total wireless data traffic of 431 crore GB (9.6 GB per subscriber per month) for quarter ended December 2017.

"Jio subscribers continue to demonstrate high activity level with average data consumption per user per month of 9.6 GB and average voice consumption of 694 minutes per user per month; these are both highest in the industry and substantially higher than other operators," the telco said, adding that video consumption has crossed 200 crore hours per month on the network.

The telco revealed that its customer churn at 1.4 per cent per month is the lowest in the industry.