Telecom Operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Subscribers Slashed in Lockdown Period

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea lost 1.3 million and 6.4 million subscribers whereas Reliance Jio added 4.7 million subscribers

By July 24th, 2020 AT 8:45 AM

Telecom operators had a roller coaster ride in the entire lockdown period. Since the government announced complete lockdown, work from home became the new normal, and digital users relied on seamless data services to cater to their work and entertainment needs. Even though the demand for data services skyrocketed in India, telecom operators also lost subscribers during the lockdown period. As reported by Economic Times, the new stats released by telecom regulator revealed that telecom industry lost 2.9 million gross subscribers in the month of March against 5 million monthly subscribers addition in the previous two months to reach a subscriber base of 1.16 billion. Aliasgar Shakir from Motilal Oswal stated that the lower addition in subscriber base was caused by restrictions and lockdown period. Also, the rise in tariffs was one of the factors which resulted in lower subscriber addition.

Airtel and Vodafone Idea Lost Major Chunk of Subscribers

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea lost a major chunk of subscribers in the lockdown period. Bharti Airtel lost around 1.3 million subscribers whereas Vodafone Idea lost a whopping 6.4 million subscribers. The lost in subscriber could affect both the telcos drastically. Recently, the telecom regulator also blocked the premium plans of Airtel and Vodafone Idea that were a part of their expansion plans. Also, strict regulations and massive AGR payments have made it difficult for telecom operators. Surprisingly, the largest telecom operator of India, Reliance Jio added 4.7 million subscribers. Not only this, but the telco giant also attracted massive investments from global companies in Jio Platforms.

Telecom Operators Have Enough Space to Grow in Indian Telecom Market

Sunil Subramaniam, who is the MD of Sundaram Mittal, stated that the Indian telecom market has adequate size and space for all the three telecom operators to benefit. Also, both the telcos Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel has international backing. Apart from this, the recent investments by Google and Facebook in Jio Platforms also reveals the growth opportunities in the Indian telecom market. All these factors indicate that market is large enough for all the telecom operators to get benefits and expand their services and subscriber base.

Shrijan loves the process of creating content in various verticals, whether it be words, sounds or videos. He's also inclined towards digital marketing and tech industry developments. The art of creation always intrigues his interest.

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FarazsaketKiran Fernandes | GoaChetan-bengaluru Recent comment authors
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Kiran Fernandes | Goa
Kiran Fernandes | Goa

😀 😀 😀

All of the incumbents are losers, since theyre losing customers by the millions!

On the Jio is still gaining customers by the millions… Jio definitely has a working strategy!

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
Kiran Fernandes | Goa

On the other hand*


My guess is this could be due to consolidation of sim of both the telcos. People carrying two or three sim cards postpaid /prepaid both might have stopped recharging or closed the connection. Vil is anyways aggressively deactivating sims which are not recharged till 60 days from expiry of last plan they have max rural subsciber due to erstwhileidea . Hence they are loosing more as user consolidate their primary number due to financial constraints in rural and lower strata people

Jio doesn’t deactivated it’s non used numbers hence no downfall for them


my idea sim is still not deactivated last recahrge in sep2019, even during llockdown march 2020, i got extension of incoming validity and rs10 talktimes, Sim is not placed in handset and laying in drawer from Jan2020. This week while reinstalling myidea app, i found same SIM is still carrying balance of rs1.95 I am eargerly waiting number to get deactivated. this shows VIL will loose more subsciber in near term. For jio i really can undesratnd when shops and office were closed from where these new sim activation takes place. At 70% VLR of jio, its still not no… Read more »


See the 3rd number.
I broke that SIM in August 2019 (almost a year ago).
It’s not active, neither deactivated.


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