Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has added about 1 Mn more customers than Reliance Jio in August 2020. Sunil Bharti Mitta-led Bharti Airtel added about 2.9 Mn users, whereas Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio added 1.8 Mn users.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its latest report, highlighted that Airtel recorded a monthly growth of 0.91% whereas Reliance Jio was at 0.47%. Bharti Airtel reported wireless subscribers also included Tata Teleservices subscribers.
Even state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) added 214K users, while all the other telecom networks were found on the losing end. VI (previously Vodafone Idea), which was the biggest telecom operator until October 2019, lost 1.2 Mn in August. Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications lost 290 users, while state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) lost 6,081 wireless subscribers.
Currently, Reliance Jio is the biggest telecom operator in India with a user base of more than 400 Mn and a market share of 35.08%. It is followed by Bharti Airtel with 28.12% market share and VI with 26.15% market share. In January 2019, VI was the biggest network with 35.12% market share, followed by Bharti Airtel with 28.80% share and Reliance Jio with 24.49% share.
In terms of Wireline subscribers, BSNL is leading with 39.84% market share, followed by Bharti Airtel at a distant 21.86%. Reliance Jio is at the fourth position with 8.92%, right after MTNL with its 12.34% market share. According to the TRAI report, public sector units control a majority 55% of this domain, compared to private entities’ 44.82% share.
But here as well, Reliance Jio is taking the biggest leaps in adding new users. In August 2020, Reliance Jio added 160K users, Bharti Airtel added 21L users and VI added 19K users. Meanwhile, BSNL lost 97K and MTNL lost 27K users.
Overall, the telecom industry has accounted 1167 Mn total subscribers across wireless and wireline networks. The urban telephone subscribers grew by 0.69% to 624 Mn in August, while rural telephone subscribers grew by 0.68% to 525 Mn.