Reliance Jio continues its aggressive subscriber addition even after the introduction of IUC Top-Up vouchers. Back in October this year, Reliance Jio came out with IUC vouchers and also started charging six paise per minute from the users for off-net voice calls. According to the latest Telecom Subscription Data released by Trai, Reliance Jio added a whopping 9.1 million new customers in October 2019, which was followed by other operators- BSNL, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel. Yes, Vodafone Idea has managed to grab nearly two lakh new users during the same month, something which we haven't seen for a long time now. BSNL, on the flip side, continues to add new subscribers on a small note and the state-run operator now has 9.92% market share. Overall, BSNL and MTNL now have a combined market share of 10.20%. The overall telecom subscriber base reaches 1204.85 million at the end of October.
Interconnect Usage Charges Didn't Hurt Reliance Jio in October
When Reliance Jio started charging for off-net voice calls, everyone expected the telco would start losing subscribers and will no longer add new users. However, the Trai data shows otherwise. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio added 9.1 million subscribers in October, followed by BSNL which added 2.8 lakh new customers. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel managed to add 1.9 lakh and 81,974 new subscribers during the same month.
The major setback for Reliance Jio is other telcos offering unlimited voice calls without any FUP limit. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel removed the FUP limit on off-net voice calls, but Reliance Jio did not remove it. It will be interesting to see when the November 2019 subscription data comes out.
At the end of October 2019, Vodafone Idea has a market share of 31.49%, followed by Reliance Jio with a market share of 30.79%. Bharti Airtel ended the month with a share of 27.52%. As noted, state-run telcos BSNL and MTNL now have a market share of 10.20%. Overall, private telcos rule the Indian market with an overall market share of 89.80%, followed by the government-owned PSUs.
In October, the overall net wireless subscriber additions were 9,655,337 as Reliance Communications and MTNL lost subscribers.
JioPhone Rs 699 Offer Must Be Behind the Strong Subscriber Addition
On October 1, Reliance Jio announced that the JioPhone would be available at just Rs 699 and there's no requirement to submit the old feature phone. This could be the reason behind Jio' strong subscriber addition during the month of October. Back then, the company even had the Rs 49 JioPhone plan on offer, but it has been removed after the introduction of revised tariff plans on December 6.
Reliance Jio said the JioPhone Rs 699 offer will be a limited period one, but the company is still the 4G feature phone at the same price. Nevertheless, the base pack for JioPhone is Rs 75 now which ships with 100MB data per day, unlimited Jio-to-Jio voice calls, 500 minutes of off-net calls for 28 days. Having said that, the JioPhone 2 is still available at a price of Rs 2,999 as the company wants to sell more units of the original JioPhone. It has been more than two years since the launch of JioPhone and the company even announced on October 1 that it sold more than 70 million units. As you can clearly see, JioPhone is contributing to the telco's overall subscriber base on a large number and it is continuing even now.