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Reliance Jio Gets USD 1 Billion Loan From Korea; Achieves Milestone of Having 200 Million Subscribers in India

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (“RJIL”) has signed a US$ 1 billion equivalent term loan facility covered by Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (“K-SURE”) on 22nd June 2018 (the “Facility”).

The Facility will be used to finance goods and services procured primarily from Samsung Electronics and Ace Technologies Corp. The Facility has door to door tenor of 10.75 years.  The Facility is K-SURE’s largest deal in India as well as the largest deal supported by K-SURE in the telecom sector globally.

In another landmark achievement, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is now at the fourth position in India’s telecom industry with a subscriber base of over 200 million. So far, Airtel dominated the market with 309 million customers, followed by Vodafone with a subscriber base of 222 million. Idea Cellular, however, has 217-million user base.

Reliance Jio, which was launched in September 2016, entered the highly-competitive telecom sector with a six-month promotional offer of free voice and data. This strategy helped the company mobilise millions of users, and the telecom firm crossed 50 million subscribers in just 83 days and 100 million subscribers in 170 days.

According to a report by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Reliance Jio in March this year added more than 9.4 million subscribers, while Bharti Airtel had subscriber addition of 8.4 million, Idea Cellular added over 9.1 million, and Vodafone India could add 5.6 million subscribers.

With this aggressive addition of subscribers, Reliance Jio took market share from 13.08 per cent in November to 15.7 per cent in March. Bharti Airtel has a market share of 25.7 per cent (up from 25.57 per cent), whereas Vodafone India has a market share of 18.82 per cent (up from 18.76 per cent). Idea registered a market share of 17.85 per cent, up from 17.47 per cent, the Trai report said.

According to Business Standard report, while Bharti Airtel still commands the highest market share, the firm will soon be overtaken by the new entity Vodafone Idea Ltd, as Vodafone and Idea are in the process of merging their businesses. Once the deal gets DoT approval, the new company will have a market share of around 35 per cent, and the merged entity will have over 430 million mobile subscribers from Day 1.

In broadband service, Reliance reportedly ranks first among the top five telecom players. Recently, telecom regulator Trai put out a report stating that the top five service providers constituted 97.42 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of April 2018, adding “The service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (196.19 million), Bharti Airtel (89.70 million), Vodafone (59.91 million), Idea Cellular (42.41 million) and BSNL (20.75 million).”

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