Incumbent telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have seen their subscriber addition decelerating on a month-on-month basis during the April-September period.
Incumbent telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have seen their subscriber addition decelerating on a month-on-month basis during the April-September period. In fact, Vodafone and Idea went into negative territory during July, August and September, data from the Cellular Operators Association of India show. This decelerating trend in subscriber addition from April coincides with rival and new entrant Reliance Jio making its services paid.
Bharti, which added 2.85 million subscribers in April, saw its numbers go down to 2.05 million in May, and then further down to 0.6 million in June. It lost 0.2 million subscribers in August, but bounced back in September, adding 1 million subscribers. Vodafone, which added 0.76 million subscribers in April, bettered it to1.13 million in May but since then its numbers have been constantly declining.
It added a million users in June and then went into negative territory losing1.4 million, 2.4 million and 0.7 million subscribers in July, August and September, respectively. Similarly, Idea reported an additional 0.68 million subscribers in April, then lost steam. It added only 0.19 million and 0.04 million subscribers in May and June, respectively.
In July, August and September, it lost 2.32 million, 2.09 million and 0.9 million subscribers, respectively. As per the latest COAI numbers, Bharti continues to be on top with a total subscriber base of 282.05 million and a market share of 29.80% as of September 2017. Vodafone’s total subscriber base stood at 207.44 million with a market share of 21.91%, while Idea’s was at 190.15 million with a market share of 20.09% at the end of September.
COAI does not provide the latest subscriber numbers for Reliance Jio. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Jio had a subscriber base 128.58 million as of July and is the country’s largest mobile broadband services provider.