Indian telco Reliance Jio has posted its first quarterly net profit since kicking off its service in September 2016.
For the company's third quarter, reported on Friday [PDF], the telco posted net profit of 504 crore rupees, almost $79 million, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) 2,628 crore rupees, approximately $412 million, from operating revenue of 6,879 crore rupees, or just over $1 billion.
In the previous quarter, the telco made a 271 crore rupees net loss on 6,147 crore rupees of revenue.
Jio said its subscriber base sits at 160 million users as of December 31, 2017, and its average revenue per user sits at 154 rupees, or $2.41, while each user consumes 9.6GB on average every month.
During the quarter, Jio said it added 28 million subscribers and its churn rate was the lowest in the subcontinent, sitting at 1.4 percent. It additionally claimed that it was the first exabyte network globally, and would hit 99 percent population coverage in India in 2018.
The company said it was currently trialling fibre to the home and enterprise solutions based on its existing networks and stack.
Jio recently began offering a deal at 153 rupees per month that allows users to have free voice calls, half a GB of data per day, and unlimited SMS.
After having pushed the Indian telecom industry towards the brink of despair with its cut rate pricing, Reliance Jio's new scheme is a master class in how to seek market dominance through financial ingenuity.
Reports suggest the breach could be the largest experienced by an Indian organisation.
Reliance Jio still has to woo existing customers away from tenacious biggies like Airtel and scrappy middleweights like Idea. However, that aside, it seems to have all the pieces in place in a remarkably well-thought out and brilliantly executed strategy.
The entire telecom industry in India is headed for a slowdown thanks to rock-bottom rates in an environment that already is witnessing flat data revenues.
Reliance Jio has decided that war it is, and has unleashed what will be a prolonged period of cheap data in an effort to lure customers. The question that remains is whether the industry will be able to withstand the ensuing carnage.