Shares of telecom companies on Thursday (October 10) rose up to 7% in the wake of Reliance Jio deciding to levy call connect charges from customers, a move that is likely to be followed by rivals.
Bharti Airtel shares jumped 7.19% to touch a 52-week high of ₹385 apiece on the NSE. In afternoon trade, it was up 4.88% up at ₹376.95.
Similar trends were witnessed on the BSE too. The scrip rallied 6.65% to hit a 52-week high of ₹384.85 apiece. After shedding some gains, the shares were trading 4.91% higher at ₹376.90 in afternoon session.
Vodafone Idea were trading 6.34% higher at ₹6.21 on the BSE and was up nearly 6% at ₹6.20 on the NSE.
Unlisted Reliance Jio Infocomm is part of Reliance Industries, whose shares gained 2.70% at ₹1,361.55 on the BSE. On the NSE, the scrip went up 2.78% to ₹1,361.55.
According to a Kotak Institutional Equities research report, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea can take this as an opportunity to become more competitive.
The report noted that Jio’s move would dilute the pricing architecture, one of the most critical changes Jio brought to the industry.
“If Jio gets ₹15 ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) uplift, we believe Airtel and Vodafone Idea could see a ₹8-odd and ₹6-odd ARPU uplift, respectively, as well,” the report said.
In a research note, UBS said it remains to be seen whether Bharti and Vodafone Idea would follow Jio in introducing similar charges for off net calls, “although we see high chance that they follow Jio”.
On Wednesday, Reliance Jio said it would charge 6 paise per minute for voice calls made by its users to mobile phone networks of rivals after indications that call connect charge may not end by the previously mooted deadline of December 31.
Bharti Airtel raising USD 750 million (about ₹5,330 crore) from investors based in Asia, Europe and the US, also helped boost the company’s shares.