Early this month, Bharti Airtel Ltd’s shares traded at about ₹550 apiece. They are now 21% lower at about ₹433. One reason, of course, is that Vodafone Idea Ltd is now expected to survive after the Supreme Court’s final ruling in the AGR (adjusted gross revenue) case. But another is the increased aggression by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, after a massive fund raise by its parent, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). “Jio’s aggression in the telecom sector seems to be back post RIL’s significant capital raise, perhaps with an endeavour to fill the gaps in the fixed broadband, postpaid and low-end prepaid customer segments,” said analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities in a note.
First, Jio announced a reduction in effective tariffs in the fixed broadband segment, forcing competitors such as Airtel to follow suit. The latest battlefront is the postpaid segment, with Jio announcing new tariff plans with a