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Reliance Jio retains crown as India’s only telecom operator to add mobile subscribers in March


Once again Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator Reliance Jio has emerged as the only network to add mobile subscriber in a month.

Jio, in the month of March, has added about 9.4 million users, whereas all other telecom operators lost subscribers, according to latest TRAI subscription data.

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel witnessed a downfall in subscribers base by nearly 14.5 million and 15.1 million respectively (29.6 million together). Tata and BSNL subscribers base down by 1 million and 523K.

At the end of March, Jio mobile subscribers base stood at 306.7 million whereas Vodafone Idea and Airtel mobile subscriber base were 394.8 million and 325.1 million respectively, added the data.

This is not the first time Reliance Jio emerged as a single telecom operator to add customers. Last year in September, Jio with over 5% monthly growth rate added over 1.30 crore mobile subscribers, taking its total customer base to 252 million.

Then too Idea and Vodafone together lost 66 lakh, mobile customers. Airtel was the third highest loser with a decline of 23 lakh mobile customers followed by Tata and BSNL, which lost over 10 lakh and 5 lakh customers respectively.

Meanwhile, total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) declined from 1,183.68 million to 1,161.81 million. It witnessed a decline both in urban and rural regions. About 90% of market share was own by private wireless service providers including Jio, Idea-Vodafone, Airtel and Tata.

Idea and Vodafone together command now over 33% of the market share whereas Airtel market share has declined to 27.99% from 29.38% in September 2018. Jio, continuing its rapid growth trajectory, now commands 26.40%, which about 5% increase in market share gain in the last six months.

The telephone subscribers also witnessed negative growth. The number of telephone subscribers in India declined from 1,205.40 million in February to 1,183.51 million at the
end of March.

Both urban and rural subscription witnessed decline (0.90% and 2.98% respectively). The overall Tele-density went down from 91.86 to 90.11.

Though, the number of broadband subscribers went up from 550.24 million to 563.31 million in March. Jio again topped the list of five top service providers in terms of subscriber base.

Five service providers including Reliance Jio (306.72 million), Bharti Airtel (114.62 million), Vodafone Idea (110.22 million), BSNL (22.14 million) and Tata Group (2.10 million) captured over 98% of the market share.

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