Jio and BSNL Gain Subscribers as Vodafone and Airtel Lose in March

Reliance Jio and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) gained subscribers while Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea lost their customers in March, a study published by India’s (Trai) Telecom Regulatory Authority shows. As of March 31, 2020, the Trai report highlighting the Telecom Subscription Data said India had 989.10 million active wireless subscribers. Crucially, India’s total number of telephone subscribers is said to have fallen from 1.180.84 million as of February to 1.177.97 million as of 31 March 2020. India’s overall teledensity is said to have fallen from 87.66% at the end of February to 87.37% as of March 31, 2020.

Reliance Jio Adds 4.6 Million Subscribers in March

The report highlights that, while BSNL added 95,428 subscribers in March, Reliance Jio added 46,87,639 subscribers. In March, Vodafone Idea lost 63,53,200 subscribers while Airtel’s subscriber base declined by 12,61,952. Furthermore, in March, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) officially lost 4,645 subscribers.

Reliance Jio continues to position itself as India’s largest cellular provider with a market share of 33.47 percent led by Airtel with a market share of 28.31 percent. Vodafone Concept emerges as India’s third-largest provider with a market share of 27.57 percent while BSNL accounts for a market share of 10.35 percent in March.

The TRAI data also reported that Bharti Airtel has the highest share of active subscribers at 96.18 percent with MTNL reporting a minimum 25.37 percent ratio in March. The data is said to be calculated based on the proportion between visitor location register (VLR) and home location register (HLR) for active subscribers. At a given time, the VLR represents the subscribers roaming into a particular network. It should be noted that at any point in time, the subscriber may be present on a single network, thereby signifying the value of VLR data. It is said that Vodafone Idea has the second-highest number of active subscribers at 92%, followed by Reliance Jio and BSNL at 80.93% and 54.81% respectively.

Rural Areas Register Growth in Subscription Data

While the country reported a dip in the overall subscription numbers, it is said that the rural areas reported an increase from 519.62 million in February to 521.51 million in March. It is said that the rural tele-density grew from 58.61 per cent in February to 58.79 per cent in March.

Similar data is reported in the wireless user base with the rural areas reporting a rise from 517.34 million in February to 519.27 million in March. The TRAI report highlights that rural wireless tele-density rose to 58.54 percent in March from 58.35 percent in February.

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