The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recently released a new yearly service performance report for 2019. As per the report, only Reliance Jio and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) added new subscribers in year-on-year (YoY) basis in 2019. Rest other telcos such as Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharti Airtel lost millions of subscribers. Trai data suggests that Reliance Jio added around 90.9 million new users in 2019, which took the telco’s total subscriber base to 371.1 million at the end of December 2019. More details on the story ahead.
Vi and Airtel Lost Millions of Subscribers, Jio Becomes the First to Reach 400 Million Subscribers
Looking at the report shared by the Trai, BSNL witnessed a 1.5% YoY growth in 2019, which took its user base to 127.7 million. Jio closed 2019 with 371.1 million subscribers on its back. With pretty decent growth in the number of subscribers in 2020 as well, Jio became the first telecom operator in the country to reach the 400 million subscriber mark in July.
Amongst all the telcos, Vi lost the highest number of subscribers in 2019. The telco’s subscriber base dropped by 20.6% YoY basis in 2019 taking its total user base to 333 million. On the other hand, Airtel witnessed a 3.7% drop YoY basis in 2019, which took the telco’s total subscriber base to 331.6 million at the end of the year.
Airtel seems to be recovering from the loss since as per the report, the telco added more subscribers to its network than Jio in August 2020. Meanwhile, Vi is continuously losing on subscribers. The telco saw a drop in the number of subscribers for the tenth consecutive month in August 2020.
Also, as per the report, Vi has the highest percentage of its subscribers from rural areas. The telco’s 51.8% users of the total subscriber base are in rural parts of the country. Second to Vi is Airtel with 43.9% of its total subscribers living in rural India and then stands Reliance Jio with 41% of its total subscribers living in rural India.