Bharti Airtel might not have as many 4G subscribers as Jio, but it still has more active subscribers than its competitor. Airtel focuses more on quality while Jio mostly on numbers. According to the monthly performance report shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Airtel’s 97.74% users of the total subscriber base were active as compared to its rival Jio’s 78.18% users of the total subscriber base. Even though Jio has added way more subscribers than Airtel in the month of July 2021, both the telcos had an identical number of active subscribers. Bharti Airtel had 346.07 million VLR subscribers (also referred to as active subscribers), while Reliance Jio had 346.49 million VLR subscribers.
Vodafone Idea and BSNL Both Lose VLR Subscribers
Both Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) lost active subscribers in the month of July 2021. Vi’s VLR subscribers percentage dropped from 88.43% in June to 87.67% in July 2021. At the same time, BSNL’s VLR subscribers percentage dropped from 50.63% to 50.49%.
The most number of subscribers during the month was added by Reliance Jio, followed by Bharti Airtel, while both Vi and BSNL lost subscribers. Jio added 65,18,786 subscribers (6.51 million) while Airtel added 19,42,993 subscribers (1.94 million). Vodafone Idea lost 14,30,245 subscribers (1.43 million) while BSNL lost 10,17,669 subscribers (1.01 million).
Even the huge number of subscribers added by Jio won’t create a big difference for the company if a big chunk of them are inactive and the most subscribers out of the active ones are low average revenue per user (ARPU) customers.
Jio had the biggest subscriber market share of 37.34%, followed by Bharti Airtel (29.83%), Vodafone Idea (22.91%), and BSNL (9.64%). It looks like an evenly poised market right now between the two top operators. If Airtel didn’t have a lot of debt on its back, it might have been even ahead of Jio. It will be interesting to see how the market pans out in the coming months.