Bharti Airtel is the New Reliance Jio, Adds 5.8 Million Users in January: Trai

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Chakri K

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vi Subscriber Market Share

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has added a whopping 5.8 million new subscribers in January 2021, the latest Monthly Subscription report from Trai said. In the past, we have seen Reliance Jio adding such a massive number of subscribers in a single month, and now, Airtel has taken its position. The Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio has managed to grab just 1.9 million new users during the month. The Trai data shows Vodafone Idea has added 1.7 million new customers, just falling short of Jio. This news will come as a big relief to Vodafone Idea which continuously lost subscribers every month since October 2019. Bharti Airtel also beats Reliance Jio on the active users front as the telco has 335.77 million VLR customers compared to Jio’s 324.52 million.

Vodafone Idea Finally Adds New Subscribers

Vodafone Idea is getting back on track, and the company is also looking to serve only the paying customers, similar to Bharti Airtel. At the end of January 2021, Reliance Jio is the biggest telecom operator in the country with 410.73 million subscribers under its belt, followed by Bharti Airtel with 344.60 million users. Vodafone Idea is third on the list with 285.97 million overall userbase. State-run BSNL ended the month with 118.79 million users, of which only 61.40 million are active. As for the monthly additions, BSNL grabbed 83,738 users during the month.

Bharti Airtel is constantly more new subscribers than Reliance Jio which is becoming a worry for the top telecom operator. Jio introduced new JioPhone offers in February 2021 and it will be interesting to see whether the offers make any difference to the monthly subscriber additions. Thanks to the new JioPhone offers, Vi is pushing back the tariff hike to the end of Q1 FY22.

Talking about Mobile Number Portability (MNP), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) received 7.63 million requests. The cumulative MNP requests in India increased from 544.61 million at the end of December 2020 to 552.24 million at the end of January 2021.

The first month of 2021 is proved to be good for Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, but Reliance Jio will be looking at introducing new schemes to boost the subscriber base. The telco is looking to reach 500 million subscriber base, however, the growth rate has slowed down dramatically after surpassing the 400 million subscriber mark.

Chakri K

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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