- There have many factors behind this rise in subscriber base
- Reliance Jio's introduction of IUC charges is likely one factor
- Airtel's 4G network expansion is also another reason
The current fiscal year has been a great one for Bharti Airtel as such. The Sunil Bharti Mittal led telecom operator has enhanced its 4G network in India and has also added a lot of subscribers throughout the year due to its popular services and the highly regarded reviews which customers have been giving to the telecom operator. Although things have started going downhill for the telecom operator because of the new AGR issue, still it is not something that is facing alone. Apart from this, as per a company source, Airtel submitted data to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) which oversees the regulations in the telecom industry keeps the industry in check, the months of October and November have been especially good for Bharti Airtel. This is because Airtel has added a record 12 million 4G subscribers during Oct and Nov 2019. It is also crucial to note that on an average, the telecom operator adds 1.5 million users per month, but this time around, in October, Airtel added 5 million subscribers and then in November added 7 million more users.
Bharti Airtel Adds Large Number of Subscribers
The record net adds underlines its strong performance driven by customer preference for its network. Airtel has grabbed a large share of new 4G subscribers. A senior company official said about this, “We are seeing a clear customer preference for our network and product propositions like Airtel Thanks. We are confident of exiting the quarter with record net 4G subs adds.” This is a big win for Bharti Airtel, especially in the tough times, where the telecom operator needs to rake in as much revenue as possible. There are other steps as well, which are helping the telecom operator in upping its revenue so that it can overcome the financial hurdles that it is facing in the form of dues.
Reliance Jio Losing Subscribers Due to IUC
Another major thing that might have possibly attributed to the rise of the subscriber base for Bharti Airtel is the introduction of the IUC cost from Reliance Jio. It was in these months only that Reliance Jio brought the 6 paise per minute cost to the subscribers for making calls to other operators. This disappointed a lot of customers of Reliance Jio, who might have ported their number to other operators and the closest best choice happens to be Bharti Airtel in this case. Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, is losing subscribers because of network integration which is affecting the quality of network during the transition period, hence, in such a scenario, Bharti Airtel is the go-to option for subscribers when porting from another operator. BSNL has no 4G network right now, which is why BSNL is not being considered by the subscribers.
Bharti Airtel Being Helped by Good 4G Network
The company official cited above has also said that Airtel has a pan-India 4G network and plans to shut down the 3G network by March and redeploy the spectrum for 4G, This is expected to boost the 4G capacity further. Airtel has invested close to Rs 50,000 crore in the last two FY to ramp up 4G networks. It recently rolled out India’s first Vo Wi-Fi services starting with Delhi NCR. Bharti Airtel has also deployed the premium 900 MHz spectrum as the LTE900 technology in a lot of areas of avail good network quality to the customers. Also, post the data tariff hike, Bharti Airtel is offering unlimited calls to the customers which is another attractive thing that customers get over Reliance Jio, where they still have to pay IUC in some cases.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.