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Airtel beats Jio in subscriber additions for 4th straight month; Voda-Idea continues to lose

Bharti Airtel added 4.37 million new users, the highest among the players in November, to take its subscriber base to 334.65 million. Reliance Jio saw its user base rising to 408.29 million with the addition of 1.93 million new customers in November

Chitranjan Kumar | January 29, 2021 | Updated 21:38 IST
Airtel beats Jio in subscriber additions for 4th straight month; Voda-Idea continues to lose
Bharti Airtel added more new subscribers than Reliance Jio

Bharti Airtel added more new subscribers as compared to market leader Reliance Jio for the fourth consecutive month in November, while other telecom operators - Vodafone Idea (Vi) and MTNL - continued to see decline in their user bases.

As per the data released by telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday, the Sunil Bharti Mittal-led company added 4.37 million new users, the highest among the players in November, to take its subscriber base to 334.65 million. Reliance Jio saw its user base rising to 408.29 million with the addition of 1.93 million new customers in November.  

In contrast, Vi lost 2.89 million users to bring down its subscriber base to 289.94 million at the end of November, the TRAI data showed.  

State-owned MTNL also lost 6,016 mobile service customers, while BSNL added 556 new mobile users.

With 35.34 per cent market share, Reliance Jio remained India's biggest telecom operator by market share, while Airtel retained second spot with 28.97 per cent market stake. Vi's market share shrunk to 25.10 per cent, while PSU units BSNL and MTNL stake stood at 10.3 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively, TRAI data showed.

As on November 30, 2020, the private access service providers together held 89.41 per cent market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 10.59 per cent.

Despite having the largest market share in the mobile networks, Reliance Jio's active subscriber base was lower than Airtel and Vi. Of the total customers, Jio's active subscriber base stood at 79.55 per cent, while Airtel and Vi's active users were at 89.01 per cent and 96.63 per cent, respectively.

As per the TRAI data, total wireless subscribers in India increased from 1,151.81 million in October 2020 to 1,155.20 million at the end of November 2020, there by registering a monthly growth of 0.29 per cent. Of this, wireless subscription in urban areas was at 630.40 million and 524.80 million in rural area. Monthly growth rates of urban and rural wireless subscription were 0.18 per cent and 0.43 per cent, respectively.

Service area-wise, all states, except West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kolkata, Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai, showed growth in their wireless subscribers during the month of November. Madhya Pradesh service area showed maximum growth of 1 per cent in its wireless subscriber base during the month.

Meanwhile, 6.81 million subscribers submitted their requests for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in November. With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 529.60 million at the end of October to 536.41 million at the end of November, since implementation of MNP.

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