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Reliance Jio outruns Airtel to become 2nd largest mobile network

Mukesh Ambani-owned telecom network Reliance on the back of strong subscriber addition has become second-largest telco by users and market share.

With the addition of about 81.80 lakh new subscribers, Jio ended up with has about 32.29 crore subscribers and 27.80% market share in May, according to telecom regulator TRAI’s latest data.

Whereas leaders like Vodafone Idea and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel lost subscribers, at 56.97 lakh and 15.08 lakh users, respectively. While Vodafone maintained its top position with 33.36% market share and 38.75 crore consumers largely due to its merger with Idea, Airtel slipped to the third spot with 32.03 crore mobile subscribers and 27.58% subscriber market share during the month.

This is in continuation to previous month growth of the company. In April, Jio had added about 8.08 million customers whereas BSNL gained over 2.32 lakh customers. Rest all other telecom networks including Tata, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, MTNL and R Com lost their customer base.

However, Jio’s ARPU for the June quarter was at Rs 122, down from Rs 126.2 in the March quarter. This means for Jio, every incremental user contributes less to its total revenue. Which is a bit concerning for the telco for the past six quarters.

The development is significant for Jio, which also posted a seventh straight profitable quarter, with 46% growth in earnings growth.

The company’s profit went up to Rs 891 crore in the quarter ended June from Rs 612 crore a year ago.

Meanwhile, the telephone subscribers number in rural areas fell 0.86 % whereas those in the urban areas rose 0.57% in May 2019, added the TRAI data.

The rural subscription declined to 508.49 million in the same period. Though, the urban subscription increased from 670.86 million to 674.66 million.

India teledensity went down to 89.92% in May from 90.05 % at the end of April. The number of telephone subscribers saw marginal downfall to 1,183.15 million as on May 2019 from 1,183.7 million in April.

In the broadband segment, the number of subscribers increased by 1.67% to 581.51 million. Jio had the most number of subscribers, 322.9 million. Airtel and Vodafone subscriber base stood at 118.34 million and 109 million respectively in the same period.

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