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Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel drive growth in India’s telecom subscriber base

The telecom subscriber base experienced marginal growth in May, primarily due to new customer additions by telecom operators Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, according to a report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The total number of telephone subscribers increased from 1,172.52 million at the end of April-23 to 1,172.57 million at the end of May-23, reflecting a monthly growth rate of 0.004%.

The growth in the subscriber base was driven by rural areas, where subscriptions increased to 519.14 million in May, up from 518.64 million in April. However, this growth was counterbalanced by a decline in urban areas, where the subscriber base decreased to 653.43 million in May, compared to 653.88 million in April.

The wireless subscriber base also saw a slight increase from 1,143.13 million in April to 1,143.21 million in May. Reliance Jio added 3.03 million net subscribers, bringing its total mobile customer base to 436.3 million. Bharti Airtel added 1.32 million wireless subscribers, reaching a total customer base of 372.31 million.

On the other hand, Vodafone Idea lost 2.81 million wireless subscribers, while state-owned BSNL and MTNL lost 1.47 million and 2,338 mobile subscribers, respectively.

In the wireline segment, the total subscriber base declined from 29.39 million in April to 29.36 million in May, with BSNL and MTNL facing the highest number of customer losses.

Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel were also at the forefront of new subscriber additions in the wireline segment. Jio added 3,25,336 wireline customers, and Airtel added 1,25,586 customers.

Regarding broadband subscribers, the total count increased to 856.81 million in May, up from 850.94 million in April. Reliance Jio continued to lead in this segment, with a total broadband user base of 8.92 million, followed by Airtel at 6.40 million, and BSNL at 3.61 million.

As of August 1, 2023, Reliance Jio, the leading telecom player in India in terms of market share, added 30.4 lakh wireless service subscribers in May. Bharti Airtel, Jio’s recorded a net addition of 13.4 lakh subscribers in May, while state-run BSNL lost 14.8 lakh users. Vodafone Idea (Vi) too continued to face losses with a decline of 28.15 lakh subscribers during the same month.

Jio’s performance remained consistent month-on-month, as it added around 30.4 lakh users in April as well. However, Airtel experienced a spike in May with a net addition of 0.7 lakh users in April. Vodafone, on the other hand, lost 29.9 lakh users during the month.
In terms of market share among wireless users, Jio maintained its stronghold with a share of 38.17 percent, followed by Airtel at 32.57 percent, Vi at 20.2 percent, and BSNL at 8.8 percent.

Moving on to the wireline segment, Jio continued to dominate the market with a share of 33.18 percent in May, followed by Airtel at 25.12 percent, BSNL at 22.26 percent, MTNL at 7.8 percent, and Tata Tele at 7.6 percent.

Additionally, in the wired broadband service providers’ domain, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries led with a total broadband user base of 8.92 million as of May 31, 2023. Airtel followed with 6.40 million users, while BSNL had 3.61 million, Atria Convergence Technologies with 2.15 million, and Hathway Cable with 1.12 million users.

For report,


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