With strong additions, Airtel has been narrowing down the gap with market leader Reliance Jio, which has seen its subscriber additions slowing down.
In January, Airtel added 5.89 million customers to take its user base to 344.60 million, according to data shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
For six straight months, Bharti Airtel has been adding maximum number of wireless subscribers. In January, Airtel added 5.89 million customers to take its user base to 344.60 million, according to data shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
Reliance Jio followed with additions of 1.96 million in January to increase its base to 410.73 million. Interestingly, Vodafone Idea, too, added wireless subscribers in the month with 1.71 million customers onboarding its network. The company has been consistently losing subscribers over the past many months but it has now managed to stop the outflow. The wireless user base of Vodafone Idea stood at 285.96 million at the end of the reported month. State-run BSNL also managed to add 81,659 subscribers to take its user base to 118.69 million. With strong additions, Airtel has been narrowing down the gap with market leader Reliance Jio, which has seen its subscriber additions slowing down.
Despite adding wireless subscribers in January, Jio’s subscriber market share was down marginally to 35.30% in the month, compared to 35.43% in December. Airtel’s share rose to 29.62% in January from 29.36% in December. Vodafone Idea also lost market share despite adding customers. The company’s share stood at 24.58% in January as compared to 24.64% in December. In terms of wireless broadband users (4G), Jio’s base stood at 410.73 million, followed by Airtel at 181.73 million, Vodafone Idea at 122.71 million. Competition for 4G users is heating up as mobile operators try to add users and upgrade user subscription. Currently, there are around 300 million 2G users, primarily on the networks of Airtel, BSNL and Vodafone Idea, who are up for grabs. Reliance Jio has already announced a new JioPhone offer to grab the 2G users. The company is giving a JioPhone for Rs 1,999, which comes with 24 months of unlimited service. Another plan is for Rs 1,499, which comes with 12 months of unlimited service.
Airtel is upgrading many of its 2G users to 4G by offering lucrative tariff plans. As there is so much customer movement, the MNP requests have been consistently high for the past few months. The MNP requests stood at 7.63 million in January. In terms of wireline broadband subscribers, Reliance Jio has been adding the maximum number of users, primarily due to the rollout of its fibre connectivity across the country. Jio added around 180,000 wireline broadband users in January followed by 90,000 by Airtel. BSNL lost 10,000 wireline broadband users.
As on January, the wireline broadband base of BSNL stood at 7.69 million, followed by 2.90 million of Airtel, 2.25 million of Reliance Jio, 1.80 million of ACT and 1.06 million of Hathway Cable.