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Data battle could hurt Idea more than Airtel

Most firms will face margin pressure but Idea, with higher leverage and capacity shortage, will feel the heat

Data battle could hurt Idea more than Airtel

The aggressive rate plans of Reliance Jio (Rjio) are expected to worsen the operational and financial metrics of incumbent telecom majors, impacting cash flows and aggravating their debt positions. The fall in data realisations and margins would be further compounded by the need to invest in upgrading networks and bidding for spectrum to match service quality of competitors. Among incumbents, Idea Cellular is expected to be impacted the most, given its lower network investments, say analysts at Motilal Oswal Securities. While data prices are expected to fall 30-35 per cent ...