Airtel, Vodafone Lose Subscribers; Jio Sees Small Gain: TRAI Data

Jio also reportedly increased customer share while Airtel and Vodafone Idea brought it down.

Updated24 Jul 2020, 03:10 PM IST
2 min read

The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) of India has shared data suggesting that the telecom subscriber base in India fell by 8.2 million in April.

Basing their observations on reports received from 342 operators, TRAI said the number of broadband subscribers dipped by over 11 million between March end and April end.

“As per reports received from 342 operators in the month of April 2020, the number of broadband subscribers decreased from 687.44 million at the end of March 2020 to 676.14 million at the end of April 2020 with a monthly decline rate of 1.64 percent.”   
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India   

According to LiveMint, rural subscriber base increased marginally when the country was under strict lockdown, but the urban mobile subscriber base dropped by 9 million, as a large number of migrant workers exited urban areas.

LiveMint also reported that Uttar Pradesh was the only area reporting a marginal growth of 1.3 percent in wireless subscription, with all other places reporting a decline.

Whose Subscriber Base Dipped, and Whose Didn’t

Reliance Jio still managed to fare a little better than it’s rival companies. According to an Economic Times report, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea lost 5.26 million and 4.51 million customers respectively, while Reliance Jio still managed to add 1.57 million customers.

This however, was still far less than it’s approximately 4.7 million additions in March.

Jio also reportedly increased customer share while Airtel and Vodafone Idea brought it down.

According to the TRAI report, the collated date suggests India’s mobile user base dipped by 8.23 million in the month of April.

The Problem of Dwindling Validity

The Economic Times report also says that the Visitor Location Register (VLR) indicates that 95.26 percent users were active for Airtel, 88.25 percent for Vodafone and 78.85% percent for Jio.

LiveMint, in it’s report, pointed out that owing to the lockdown, there weren’t enough open retail outlets, and many low-end subscribers found it difficult to recharge their mobile plans.

This, reportedly, compelled the telecom operators to extend the validity of their plans.

It also pushed the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) to write to various states urging them to issue instructions to mobile recharging retailers ‘to open their outlets for offering telecom services to the public’, and issue movement passes for staff managing such outlets.

According to LiveMint, on 3 May, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea also announced extension of validity on prepaid mobile plans for low-income customers.

(With inputs from LiveMint, Economic Times)

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Published: 24 Jul 2020, 03:04 PM IST
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