The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has released the monthly subscription data of February 2018. In the Telecom Subscription Data report released, Trai stated that Idea Cellular has added 4.4 million new subscribers during the month, followed by Bharti Airtel with 4.1 million new users and Vodafone managed to grab 3.2 million new subscribers. However, the chart is led by Reliance Jio with 8.7 million new subscribers added in a single month. This news will not surprise many as the telco already revealed that its subscriber base has crossed 175 million as of March 2018. Struggling telecom operator, Aircel lost over 2.5 million subscribers during the same month, but the maximum number of subscribers is lost by Reliance Communications with over 11 subscribers leaving the network.
Thanks to Jio’s aggressive additions, the number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1175.01 million at the end of January 2018 to 1179.83 million at the end of February 2018, showing a monthly growth rate of 0.41%. Trai also stated that the urban subscription declined from 672.54 million at the end of January to 669.63 million at the end of Feb, however, the rural subscription increased from 502.47 million to 510.20 million during the same period. The monthly growth rates of urban and rural subscription were -0.43% and 1.54% respectively during the month.
Coming to the total wireless subscribers involving GSM, CDMA & LTE, the number increased from 1151.94 million to 1156.87 million with a monthly growth rate of 0.43%. As of February 28, 2018, the private telecom subscribers held 90.51% market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 9.49%, and it’s likely not going to increase anytime soon.
At the end of February 2018, Bharti Airtel had a market share of 25.57% and is nearing the 300 million subscriber base mark. Vodafone India stands next on the list with 18.76% share, followed by Idea Cellular with 17.47%. Reliance Jio is in the race to become third largest telecom service provider in the country as it now has 15.31% market share and is expected to kick Idea from the third position before its merger with Vodafone India. Telenor and Tata Teleservices lost over 1 million and 1.5 million subscribers during the same period.