The latest set of subscriber numbers by Trai is nothing short of surprises. In August, the top three operators — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — lost subscribers. But Tata Teleservices came out of the blue to take the top spot, adding the highest users and pushing Reliance Jio to the second spot, a first for the Reliance Industries subsidiary since its launch in September 2016. However, it’s the performance of state-run telecom operator BSNL, which is noteworthy. As per Trai’s data for August, Tata Teleservices took the top spot by adding 4.89 million subscribers, which is surprising as the company has generally been a laggard when it comes to subscriber additions. It now has a count of 47 million and a market share of 3.96%. The company is now in the process of merging its wireless operations with Bharti, which was announced last month.
Besides, a brief analysis of BSNL performance during the January-August period reveals that the operator has managed to increase its subscriber base from 98 million in January to 105.26 million in August. During the same time, it increased its subscriber market share from 8.5% to 8.88%. Jio, which remained the country’s top mobile broadband services provider, added a little over 4 million subscribers during August, taking its total count to 132.68 million and market share to 11.19%. The country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti lost 0.21 million subscribers during August 2017, its first in the last 20 months. While Vodafone lost 2.4 million subscribers in August, Idea’s lost almost 3 million. It is the second consecutive month of loss for both.