Jio, BSNL add subscribers in December

Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Reliance Jio have emerged as beneficiary of Vodafone- Idea, Bharti Airtel decided to hike tariffs to rein in losses.

The two companies have added mobile subscribers in December, according to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel lost a substantial chunk of users while BSNL (added 426,958 customers), Jio (addition of 82,308 subscribers) on its wireless network, the data revealed. Vodafone Idea and Airtel lost 3.6 million and 11,050 users, respectively.

The loss was led by Vodafone Idea which lost 36.41 million subscribers during November.

In wireless segment, circles of all categories showed monthly decline rate in their subscribers during the month of December.

On yearly basis, only Metro Circles showed growth in their number of wireless subscribers.

During the month of October, Jio introduced charges for calls outside the network. Reliance Jio mobile phone customers needed to buy top-up vouchers to make outgoing voice calls to any non-Jio mobile number like that of Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

Vodafone Idea lost subscribers because company has reduced time period of recording active subscriber from 120 days to 90 days.

Had it been the same period, the reduced number would have come at the end of December, said the source. So the 3.6 million losses is an extension of the numbers following the new reporting format.

The number of telephone subscribers in India declined from 1,175.88 million at the end of Nov-19 to 1,172.44 million at the end of Dec-19, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 0.29%.

The share of rural and urban subscribers in total number of telephone subscribers at the end of Dec-19 was 43.50% and 56.50%, respectively.

Wireless subscription in urban areas declined by 3.36 million at the end of December, however, wireless subscription in rural areas increased by a small number.

Jammu & Kashmir service area showed maximum growth of 4.99% in their wireless subscriber during the month as the region saw telecom services coming back to normal after a few months of shutdown.

Reliance Jio is still the leading telecom operator in India, followed by Vodafone Idea with 28.89% and Bharti Airtel with 28.43%. BSNL continues to be India’s fourth-largest telco with a market share of 10.26%.

Net net we believe that the price increases by most of the telecom operators namely Vodafone and Bgarti have not been welcomed by the customers and if this trend continues it will be very tough to make any fresh price increases going ahead

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