Airtel loses over 14 million customers; Reliance Jio adds 9.4 million in March
The number of wireless mobile users of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel shrunk by nearly 14.5 million and 15.1 million as of March this year over the previous month. On the other hand, Reliance Jio added around 9.4 million users in March, according to data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Bharti Airtel's mobile subscriber base was recorded 325.1 million in February. However, rival Reliance Jio was 306.7 million as on March 2019 against 297.2 million in February. The Mukesh Ambani-led telecom witnessed a rise of 9.5 million in a month.
Further, the number of mobile users in the country dipped by 21.87 million in March this year- biggest decline since April 2018, due to elimination of low-revenue subscribers by mobile operators.
Last year in April, the mobile subscriber base shrunk by 58 million due to bankruptcy proceedings of erstwhile telecom Aircel, after which the company's roughly 74-million customer base reduced to zero.
Additionally, in January 2018 as well, there was a decline of mobile subscribers base around 1.3 per cent (15.5 million), owing to shut down of Anil Ambani-led RCom mobile phone calling services and subscriber losses by Aircel, Telenor and Tata Teleservices.
As per the reports received from 315 operators in the month of March 2019, the number of wireless broadband subscribers increased from 550.24 million at the end of February 2019 to 563.31 million at the end of March 2019 with a monthly growth rate of 2.37 per cent. Jio notched the highest broadband subscriber base of 306.7 million, followed by Airtel (114.6 million), Vodafone Idea (110.2 million) and state owned BSNL (22.14 million).
According to the latest TRAI data, out of 22 service areas, only six service areas showed positive growth in their wireless subscribers during the month of March, 2019. Assam service area showed maximum growth of 2.46 per cent and Bihar service area showed maximum decline (4.52 per cent) in wireless subscribers during the month.