Bharti Airtel added more than double the number of subscribers that Reliance Jio added in the month of September 2020. Airtel added 38 lakh subscribers in September while RJio added 15 lakh subscribers in the month, said a report by India Ratings. The number of active subscribers also grew by 38 lakh in Airtel and 7 lakh in Jio. However, the active subscribers in Vodafone-Idea plunged by 35 lakh in the month. Overall, the telecom sector saw an addition of 7 lakh subscribers in the month of September 2020.
The number of broadband subscribers also rose to 61.4 per cent of the overall wireless subscriber base in September, compared from 60.4 per cent in August 2020, and 46.9 per cent in March 2019. The number of broadband subscribers grew by a strong 95 lakh, led mostly by the 70 lakh additions by Airtel and 17 lakh additions by Jio.
Indian telecom companies moving towards higher ARPU regime
The report underlined that the subscriber growth along with a rise in data tariffs reflect that the Indian telecom industry is moving towards a higher ARPU (average revenue per user) regime. Also, the tariff differentials for the pre-paid and post-paid tariff plans among the telecom companies have been narrowing down over the last year. India Ratings said that the post-paid tariff plans announced by RJio three months ago and the recent tariff hike by VIL for select plans indicate the inclination of industry players towards a higher ARPU regime in the long run.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio still has the largest revenue and subscriber market share. It held 35.2 per cent subscriber market in September and 38.2 per cent revenue in the fiscal’s second quarter. However, Airtel has shown resilience in the past and is picking up pace now. Its overall wireless subscribers rose to 28.4 per cent in September from 28.1 per cent in August 2020. On the other hand, Vodafone-Idea continued to lose subscribers to 25.7 per cent in September from 26.1 per cent in August 2020.