Grameen Phone and Robi, two of the largest telecommunication companies in Bangladesh have recently published their quarterly reports for the period Jan’21-Mar’21. We have taken a look at both the reports and here is a brief comparison between the two leading telecom giants of the country based on their performance
Revenue of Robi grew by 1.7% YoY whereas the revenue of Grameen Phone declined by 3.7% YoY. The profit of Robi increased by 82.4% YoY but Grameen Phone’s decreased by 16.7% YoY.
Grameen Phone’s revenue declined by 3.7 % YoY from Tk 36,169 million in Q1’20 to Tk 34,813 million in Q1’21. The de-growth is mainly driven by a decline in subscription & traffic revenue. Although internet subscribers increased by 1.7 million, data revenue also decreased by 4.4% YoY.
Read more: Grameenphone Q1’2021 Performance Review
Robi’s revenue in Q1’21 was Tk 19,810 million compared to Tk 19,477 million in Q1’20. Revenue grew by 1.7% YoY mainly driven by the growth of data revenue. Voice revenue continued to decline due to more usage of OTT platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, IMO, etc.
Grameen Phone’s profit is about 25 times greater than Robi even though the company has recently posted a de-growth of 16.7% YoY. On the other hand, Robi’s profit grew by 82.4% YoY. The lower profit margin of Robi is mainly attributed to the expansion strategy in establishing 4G sites to compete with its competitors.
Read more: Robi Q1’2021 Performance Review
Grameen Phone is still the leading telecommunication company with 80.7 million mobile subscribers. Mobile subscribers of the company have grown by 7.2% YoY from 75.3 million in Q1’20 to 80.7 million in Q1’21. About 51.6% of the total subscribers are internet subscribers. Internet subscribers have grown from 40.4 million in Q1’20 to 41.7 million in Q1’21.
Robi has the second-largest subscriber base with 51.9 million as of Q1’21. Mobile subscribers of the company have grown by 4.4% YoY from 49.7 million in Q1’20 to 51.9 million in Q1’21. About 71% of the total subscribers are internet subscribers. Internet subscribers have grown from 32.2 million in Q1’20 to 36.7 million in Q1’21.
Although Robi has 28.8 million fewer total mobile subscribers than Grameen Phone its internet users aren’t that far behind. As of Q1’21 Robi’s internet subscribers are only 5 million less than that of Grameen Phone. 71% of the total Robi users are using the internet compared to only 51.6% of Grameen Phone.
With super-fast internet speed like 5G is soon to be available, and smartphones are becoming cheaper to ensure their availability to almost every corner of the country, we can assume that the use of voice calls will see a sharp dive in near future.
So, for the telecom companies, the battle is all about who wins the race of data!
Hence, we believe, this is the most exciting part of the whole comparison. You see, we all can agree to a fact that- in the upcoming future, the voice revenue will no longer be the most exciting revenue stream for the telecom service providers-it’s going to be all data.
And the market leader Grameenphone is facing a commendable challenge to keep up with its nearest competitor in terms of Data Revenue. Have a look:
Although Grameen Phone has higher data revenue compared to Robi, Robi’s data revenue is growing at a faster rate. About 39% of Robi’s total revenue is contributed by the data segment compared to 24% of Grameen Phone. As we mentioned above, due to the usage of OTT platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, IMO, etc. voice revenue of the industry is gradually decreasing. Hence the focus on increasing data revenue is important for all the companies in the telecommunication industry.
Data revenue of Grameen Phone has declined by 4.4% YoY mainly due to a 6.8% decrease in data ARPU. Internet subscribers have increased by 3.2% YoY from 40.4 million to 41.7 million. Internet consumption per user has increased by 31.3%. MB per subscribers was 2,921 MB in Q1’21 which was 2,225 MB in Q1’20.
Data revenue of Robi grew by 16.6% YoY due to growth in internet subscribers and growth in internet consumption per user. The internet subscribers have increased by 4.4% YoY from 32.2 million to 36.7 million subscribers. Internet consumption per user has increased by 38%. MB per subscribers was 3,439 MB in Q1’21 which was 2,492 MB in Q1’20.
According to GSMA, although Bangladesh has 95% 4G mobile network coverage only 28% of the total subscribers have adopted it. The smartphone adoption rate is only 41% which is lower than our South Asian peers like India, Pakistan.
Source: Achieving Mobile-Enabled Digital Inclusion in Bangladesh, GSMA
With the rise of smartphone usage and 4G adoption is it likely the use of OTT platforms will only be going to rise. Hence it is very important for both the companies to grow their data service segment to neutralize the declining trend of voice revenue.
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