Airtel Captured Bulk of Vodafone Idea Subscribers: Motilal Oswal

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Bharti Airtel, the second largest wireless telecom operator in India captured the “lion’s share” of Vodafone Idea subscribers, Motilal Oswal said in a report on Thursday. The firm engaged in the financial services said that “there is a churn taking place” in the telecom sector. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday in a report said that the total wireless subscribers in India increased 0.06% in September. The Telecom Subscription Data as on September 30, 2020, highlighted that the wireless operators in India registered a subscriber base of 1148.58 million as compared to 1147.92 million in the previous month.

Urban Areas Register Noticeable Increase in Wireless Subscribers

Despite Airtel and Reliance Jio registering 3.8 million and 1.5 million subscriber additions respectively in September, Motilal Oswal highlighted that the gross subscribers only “increased by a mere” 0.7 million.

“There is a churn taking place, with [Vodafone] Idea losing 4.7m subscribers to Bharti/RJio,” Motilal Oswal said in the report.

The firm also highlighted that the active subscriber additions have “slowed down” in September to 1 million as compared to 1.6 million in the previous month.

According to the Trai data, the wireless operators in the urban areas registered a noticeable increase in subscribers from 624.93 million at the end of August to 626.16 million in September. However, the wireless subscribers in the rural areas is said to have decreased to 522.42 million in September as compared to 522.99 million in the previous month. With a market share of 35.19% as on September 30, 2020, Reliance Jio continues to be the largest wireless operator in India. Further, Airtel continues to be the second largest operator with a market share of 28.44% while Vodafone Idea registered a market share of 25.73% as on September 30, 2020.

Airtel Added More Active Subscribers in September

Motilal Oswal also highlighted that Reliance Jio gross subscriber additions have “slowed significantly” to 1.5 million in September as compared to 1.9 million in the previous month. The firm said that the largest wireless operator in India registered a peak gross subscriber additions between six to eight million until the previous fiscal year.

Crucially, Motilal Oswal said that Reliance Jio active subscriber additions fell to 0.7 million in September with the operator now having an overall active subscriber base of 318 million.

Meanwhile, the firm said that Airtel registered “strong gross subscriber additions for the third straight month” with the second largest operator “recouping” 10 million subscribers in the past few months. Motilal Oswal highlighted that Airtel’s active subscriber base hit 316 million as of September 30, 2020.

It was also highlighted that the Vodafone Idea gross and active subscriber loss “accelerated” to 4.7 million and 3.4 million respectively. In the previous month, the third largest wireless operator registered a gross and active subscriber loss of 1.2 million and 4.5 million respectively. Motilal Oswal said that Vodafone Idea has an overall gross subscriber base of 295 million and an active subscriber base of 261 million as of September 30, 2020.

Reported By


Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

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