Reliance Jio had 364.34 million active users at the end of December 31, 2021. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data, that number went up to 368.53 million at the end of January 31, 2022. Further, the telco’s total subscriber pool went down from 415.72 million to 406.39 million. So it is pretty evident that the company is removing inactive subscribers from its total count and adding new active users. Because of this, Jio’s VLR subscriber or active subscriber percentage has come up to 90.68%, which is better than Vodafone Idea’s (Vi) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited’s (BSNL) 86.30% and 51.44% score.
Bharti Airtel still holds the first position in having the best VLR subscribers percentage, with 98.18% of its users active during January. However, in total numbers, Airtel has a few million fewer active users compared to Jio.
Jio Made Huge Leaps in Three Months
In November 2021, Jio’s VLR subscriber percentage was 83.90% which jumped to 87.64% in December and then 90.68% in January 2022. After the tariff hikes, Jio is focusing on removing inactive subscribers from its total users' pool. This will help the telco in improving the VLR subscriber percentage as well as the average revenue per user (ARPU) figure.
It is worth noting that Jio doesn’t have legacy network users, while all the other telecom operators have 2G/3G users. This puts Jio in a very good position to earn more than its competitors.
From the top, it looks like Jio lost 9.3 million subscribers in January 2022. But in reality, the telco was only clearing its subscriber base with inactive users.
Bharti Airtel added 0.71 million new users in the same month, while all the other telcos lost subscribers. Vodafone Idea’s subscriber churn rate doesn’t seem to stall or narrow, which is a worrying sign.
However, in the wireline segment, Jio outperformed its competitors. The telco added 0.30 million new wireline users and is now very near surpassing the market share that Bharti Airtel has in the wireline segment.