Reliance Jio added 7.92 million wireless subscribers in March, mainly thanks to the JioPhone offering. This is the second month in a row that Jio has had the highest subscribers among telecom operators.
Bharti Airtel ranks second with 4.05 million additions, followed by Vodafone Idea, which added 1.08 million subscribers. Interestingly, Vodafone Idea has also witnessed subscriber additions for two consecutive months after losing customers for roughly 16 months, data shared by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) showed.
Reliance had launched a JioPhone offering on February 26, aimed primarily at feature phone subscribers in the country. As the offer was applicable as of March 1, its impact was seen in the March additions.
According to Trai data for March, Jio’s wireless subscriber base increased to 422.92 million, followed by Airtel’s 352.39 million. The Vodafone Idea base increased to 283.71 million. State-owned BSNL also added 193,359 users, increasing its base to 118.53 million. Overall, wireless users increased by 13.24 million in March to bring the total user base to 1,180.96 million.
In terms of wireless broadband users, Jio’s base stood at 422.92 million, followed by Airtel with 188.84 million, Vi with 123.60 million. Competition for 4G users is intensifying as mobile operators try to add and upgrade more users. With the launch of JioPhone, Reliance has once again reiterated its commitment to making India without 2G. Currently, there are around 300 million 2G users, mainly on the Airtel, BSNL and Vi networks, who are at stake. Reliance is offering a JioPhone for Rs 1,999, which comes with 24 months of unlimited service. Another plan is for Rs 1,499, which comes with 12 months of unlimited service.
Because there is so much customer turnover, MNP requests have been consistently high over the past few months. NPM applications stood at 12.74 million in March.
In terms of fixed broadband, RJio has been adding the maximum number of users mainly due to the deployment of its fiber connectivity throughout the country. It added around 170,000 fixed broadband users, followed by 100,000 from Airtel.
BSNL succeeded in curbing the burnout of wired broadband users. In March, BSNL’s fixed broadband base was 6.82 million, followed by 3.09 million from Airtel, 2.60 million from Jio, 1.85 million from ACT and 1.07 million from Hathway Cable.