Looking at the monthly report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report, it is pretty evident that Reliance Jio added more net subscribers than Bharti Airtel during February 2021. However, one key metric that one should not overlook is the number of active subscribers both the telcos gained or lost.
The report highlights that Jio added a net 4.2 million subscribers during the month against Airtel’s 3.7 million users addition. According to the Visitor Location (VLR) or active users data mentioned in the report, Bharti Airtel added more active subscribers than Reliance Jio during the month.
Bharti Airtel’s Comfortable Lead on VLR Front
While Reliance Jio is the king when it comes to overall 4G subscribers market share, it is behind Airtel when the active subscribers are focused on. As per the TRAI’s report, Bharti Airtel added 3.7 million active users during the month, while Reliance Jio lost 0.2 million active users.
With the net active subscribers' addition, Bharti Airtel’s total active subscriber base rose to 340 million, and with the loss of 0.2 million active users, Jio’s total active subscriber base dipped to 324 million. Airtel held 34.6% active subscribers market share while Jio’s active market share dipped to 33%.
Even though Vodafone Idea (Vi) added net subscribers for the first time since October 2019, the telco lost 0.2 million active subscribers. Vi’s active subscriber market share fell to 26.1%, with a total of 256 million active users.
Airtel’s VLR Ratio Highest, Jio’s Lowest Amongst Private Operators
Reliance Jio’s VLR ratio was 78.16% which was the lowest amongst all the private operators of the country. Vi’s VLR ratio stood at 90.61%, and Airtel led the industry with a 97.47% VLR ratio.
However, the JioPhone 2021 offering might change things for Jio in the month of March, and the telco might have added net active subscribers. The true figures will only be revealed once TRAI releases its monthly report for March 2021.
The figures are just a testament to the fact that Airtel focuses more on adding quality and high-paying customers than Jio, which wants more subscribers. The drop in Jio’s quarterly ARPU is also because of the fact that the telco is losing high-paying subscribers and adding low ARPU subscribers.