May turned out to be good for Reliance Jio as it added 4.79 million subscribers in the month. The uptick comes after it witnessed four consecutive months of decline in additions. Besides, Jio also witnessed a growth in its active subscribers in May, even though it trails the top three incumbents — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — by a huge margin. According to the latest Trai data, Jio’s subscriber addition in May is also the highest among all the telecom operators. Since January, the company had been witnessing a consequent decline in subscriber additions every month.
Its subscriber additions in January, February, March and April 2017 stood at 18.48 million, 12.21 million, 6 million and 3.9 million, respectively. The fall had come after Jio recorded its highest addition since launch in December 2016 at 20.28 million subscribers. It had launched operations in September 2016. Another positive development for Jio is the uptick in its active subscriber rate or VLR. The firm recorded a VLR of 75.73% during May, which means that it has around 89 million active users on its network. This is against a VLR of 71.19% or around 80 million active users in April. Despite the growth in VLR, Jio’s rate trails both the industry average of 86.4% and that of the top three telecom operators.
Idea reported a healthy VLR of 101.17% followed by Bharti at 96.87% and Vodafone at 94.02%. Jio also increased its subscriber market share to 9.94% in May from 9.58% in April 2017. Compared to Jio, the country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti added 2.1 million subscribers in May, followed by Vodafone’s 1.13 million and Idea’s 0.19 million. Jio was also the country’s largest mobile broadband service provider with a subscriber base of 117.34 million followed by Bharti at 51.21 million, Vodafone (40.42 million) and Idea (24.63 million). As of May 2017, Bharti led the tally with a total subscriber base of 278.6 million followed by Vodafone at 210.95 million and Idea at 196.24 million. Jio’s total subscribers stood at 117.34 million.
By Rishi Ranjan Kala