Vodafone Idea lost maximum 3.6 crore wireless subscribers in November, while Reliance Jio gained over 56 lakh subscribers, says Trai data. While Reliance Jio and Airtel's subscriber base increased 1.54 per cent and 0.51 per cent, respectively, Vodafone Idea's user base shrunk 9.77 per cent in the period. Overall, Vodafone Idea has lost 10.5 crore subscribers since the both telcos joined hands in September 2018.
Besides Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel also added 16 lakh subscribers and state-owned BSNL added 3.4 lakh users. Apart from Vodafone Idea, MTNL and now bankrupt RCom lost 5,351 and 244 users, respectively, in November.
Of the total wireless subscribers base of 115.4 crore, 97.9 crore wireless subscribers were active users in November, says the Trai data.
In November 2019, over 48 lakh subscribers submitted their requests for Mobile Number Portability (MNP).
Overall, the subscriber base declined in rural as well as urban areas. The total wireless subscribers (2G, 3G & 4G) declined 2.43 per cent from 1,18.3 crore in October to 1,15.4 crore in November. In urban areas, the wireless user base declined from 66.2 crore in October to 64.7 crore in November 2019, in rural areas, it fell from 52 crore (October 19) to 50 crore (November 19).
Bharti Airtel had maximum (95.71 per cent) active subscribers as the total users. As on November 30, 2019, the private service providers held 89.51 per cent market share whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, held just 10.49 per cent market share.
Reliance Jio had added 91 lakh new subscribers in October.
Analysts are attributing drop in user base to increase in tariff prices by companies. In their first hike since 2014, the telecom companies decided to finally increase mobile tariff prices, which had become almost free. For the first time ever since its launch in 2016, Reliance Jio said its customers would have to pay 6 paise per minute for voice calls to other rival networks. However, Jio had promised to provide free data of equal value to offset the burden on its consumers.
Other telecom companies like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea also raised tariffs by up to 50 per cent. While Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea said their new rates in the "unlimited" category would replace existing prepaid plans with up to 50 per cent higher cost, Jio said it would roll out new all-in-one plans with unlimited voice and data at up to 40 per cent higher price.
(Edited by Manoj Sharma)