Reliance Jio Becomes Leading Telecom Operator in India by Subscriber Base

At the end of November 2019, Jio's market share stood at 32.04% and the overall subscriber base will be very close to 370 million

By January 17th, 2020 AT 9:48 AM
  • Reliance Jio subscriber base will be close to 370 million
  • Vodafone Idea lost 36 million subscribers in a single month
  • Bharti Airtel added 1.6 million new users in November 2019

Reliance Jio is now officially the leading telecom operator in India in terms of subscriber base. As per the Trai subscription data for November 2019, Vodafone Idea lost more than 30 million subscribers, whereas Jio added five million new users, taking its overall user base to 369.93 million. The Trai subscription data has always been confusing; Back in July 2019 itself, Vodafone Idea stated that its subscriber base has been reduced to 320 million, but the Trai data always showed the telco has more than 370 million users under its belt. The November subscription data shows Reliance Jio has a market share of 32.04%, followed by Vodafone Idea with 29.12%. Bharti Airtel is the third-largest telco with a market share of 28.35. Airtel’ subscriber base is less than 300 million and it’s hovering around 280-285 million since the last one year.

Jio Grabs 32.04% Share in Indian Telecom Market

At the end of November 2019, Jio’s market share stood at 32.04% and the overall subscriber base will be very close to 370 million. Vodafone Idea is second on the list with 29.12% share and just over 300 million user base. Bharti Airtel’s market share is 28.35%. This subscription data is for the month of November 2019. During the same month, Reliance Jio added 5.6 million new users, followed by Bharti Airtel with 1.65 million new additions. It’s really good to see Bharti Airtel getting back on track as the telco has been struggling to add new users for a while now.

BSNL has added 3.4 lakh new users in November 2019. The Trai data shows Vodafone Idea lost 36.4 million users in a single month which is an incredible number. We believe that the telco might have flushed out the inactive subscribers on its network and reported the same number to Trai. For the unaware, Bharti Airtel subscriber base showed by Trai does not include any inactive subscribers. We are not sure whether Reliance Jio is also showing the inactive user base in the Trai data.

Reliance Jio Becomes India’s Leading Telco in Just 3.5 Years

Reliance Jio started its LTE-only operations back in September 2016. In just 172 days, the telco amassed 100 million users, and since then, it just continued its aggressive subscriber addition every month. Since its inception, Jio added more than five million users every month without any issues, thanks to the affordable 4G plans and better technologies being offered.

A major chunk of Jio subscriber base is coming from the cheap JioPhones. In October 2019, Reliance Jio said that it sold 70 million JioPhones since the launch in September 2017. JioPhone users are currently enjoying the cheapest prepaid plans starting at Rs 75. Earlier, Jio used to offer Rs 49 JioPhone plan.

The recent tariff hike and the limitation of outgoing voice calls to other networks may have a slight impact on Reliance Jio in the coming months. Before the recent prepaid tariff hike, Jio urged its users to make advance recharges so that they can enjoy the older prices even after a year with the earlier Rs 1,699 yearly plan.

If this continues, Reliance Jio will achieve its target of 500 million subscriber base by the end of 2022. The future of Vodafone Idea in the Indian telecom market is doubtful as the AGR dues and massive chunk of subscriber loss will hurt the telco even badly. Bharti Airtel is slowly getting back on track to compete with Reliance Jio and achieve its target of Rs 200 ARPU.

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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