Vodafone Idea Disappoints, Breaks Subscribers Addition Streak: TRAI

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Vodafone Idea (Vi) has disappointed its fans across the country by losing out on subscribers in the month of April 2021. According to the monthly subscriber data report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Vi has lost 1.8 million (18,10,620) subscribers in April. This comes as a tight blow to the telecom operator, which posted a huge loss in the FY21. In comparison, its rivals, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, reflected posted positive numbers.

Reliance Jio Shows Stellar Performance

Reliance Jio has added 4.7 million (47,56,340) subscribers in April, whereas Bharti Airtel only added 0.5 million (5,17,237) subscribers. At the same time, the state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has lost 1.3 million (13,02,776) subscribers in April.

Both Vi and BSNL seem to be struggling very hard at the moment. Vi is waiting for a push from the assets that it can monetise, and BSNL is waiting for the government’s help in rolling out 4G. However, Reliance Jio has kept its reputation consistent by adding a phenomenal number of subscribers.

State area-wise, Assam saw the most number of new wireless subscribers coming on board, while Mumbai saw the biggest decline in wireless subscribers. BSNL won’t be able to keep up with the other players if it doesn’t get 4G networks out as soon as possible. At the same time, Vi will need some help from the government as well if it can’t monetise assets and raise capital.

Both Vi and BSNL can be saved if the government decides to do that. However, things aren’t that simple. The government isn’t going to simply hand over all the help that Vi needs to grow back again because then that would be unfair to the other private operators. It will be interesting to see how the operators behave in the coming months.

Vi needs an ARPU push right away, while BSNL needs 4G.

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