SINGAPORE (Apr 23): Shareholders of Singapore Telecommunications may be worried about the impending entry of TPG Telecom later this year. The Australian telco is set to join Singtel, StarHub and M1 as the fourth mobile network operator, amping up competition in the city state. However, shareholders should pay just as much attention to the stiff battle taking place in India.

Singtel’s 39.5%-owned associate Bharti Airtel is expected to report its first quarterly loss in 15 years, after a two-year-long brutal price war. Analysts say Airtel, majority-owned by billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal, may report a net loss in the quarter ended March of between INR58.5 crore ($11.7 million) and INR377 crore.

For many industry watchers, Airtel’s impending net loss comes as no surprise. Its revenue declined sharply for all four quarters in 2017. The company has lost market share to Reliance Jio Infocomm (see table below), a new telco backed by Reliance Industries that has been offering customers rock-bottom prices since entering the Indian market in 2016.

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