Mobile users base shrinks amid coronavirus; Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea biggest losers

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Published: July 16, 2020 11:14 AM

As the government imposed coronavirus lockdown, the telecom industry lost about 30 lakh mobile subscribers in March. The preceding months January and February had marked an increase in subscriber base.

Indian Army 89 apps banBharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea both lost 13 lakh and 64 lakh subscribers respectively while Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio added 47 lakh new users.

As the government imposed coronavirus lockdown, the telecom industry lost about 30 lakh mobile subscribers in March. The preceding months January and February had marked an increase in subscriber base. “We are certain that the lower addition has been hit by restrictions from mid-March 2020 and the nationwide lockdown during the latter half of Mach 2020,” a Motilal Oswal report on telecom sector said on Wednesday. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea both lost 13 lakh and 64 lakh subscribers respectively while Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio added 47 lakh new users. India’s total mobile users base stood at 115.8 crore as of March.

Sunil Mittal Bharti’s Bharti Airtel continues to be at the top spot in the telecom industry in terms of active subscriber market with its active subscriber addition at 90,000 in March 2020. “Bharti continues to retain its top spot in the active subscriber base market with 31.9% market share (flat MoM). This was followed by RJio with 31.7% share (the gap between RJio and Bharti has reduced to mere 1.7m subscribers),” the report said. On the other hand, Vodafone-Idea stood at the third spot with 29.7% share. To sum up how the dominant players in telecom industry are faring, Bharti Airtel continues to maintain its market share, Vodafone-Idea continues to lose subscribers and Reliance Jio continues to add subscribers as of March.

Meanwhile, mobile subscribers base is rising in rural India as compared to urban India which has fallen for the second month in a row in March. Rural India now has 52.1 crore telecom subscribers after the number rose by 20 lakh in March. Rural India has marked an increase for the second month in a row in March. On the other hand, the number of urban telephone users shrunk by 50 lakh to reach 65.6 crore during the month, according to the latest data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). In February, the urban telephone subscription had declined to 66.1 crore, while the rural telephone subscriber base had risen 1% on month to reach 51.9 crore users.

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