Reliance Jio Infocomm could acquire 80 million 4G Long Term Evolution customers in 24 months, gaining at least half that number from Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, investment banker CLSA said. 

It often is forgotten that the objective for policymakers, whenver a market is restructured to feature more competition, is for the market share leaders to “lose share” to the new competitors. That is precisely what is going to happen in the Indian mobile services market. Already, weaker players are exiting the market (by spectrum sales or asset sales), and the only questions are how well Reliance Jio will do, and how much share the other leading providers will lose.

Vigorous competition for 4G customers, as well as Reliance Jio’s market entry, will lead to a trebling of data revenue to Rs 80,300 crore (about $12 billion) over the next two years.

That prediction is based on history. New entrants typically gain two percent to five percent market share within eight quarters of entering a market with six to seven operators, CLSA said.

But CLSA expects Reliance Jio to grab seven percent market share by March 2018, assuming a March 2016 launch, getting 16 percent share of all India mobile data subscribers, CLSA said

CLSA expects a majority of Jio’s early subscriber additions will happen in urban areas.

As for losses suffered by the rival carriers, CLSA expects Reliance Jio to take 15 million accounts from Bharti Airtel, perhaps 10 million from Idea Cellular and 20 million from Vodafone India.