India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio added mobile subscribers at a scorching pace in July, and Airtel also spruced up its user tally, even as Vodafone Idea lost 14.3 lakh customers, according to the latest data from regulator Trai. Reliance Jio gained 65.1 lakh subscribers in July cementing its market lead, while Bharti Airtel added 19.42 lakh customers during the month.
Riding on the massive subscriber gains, the wireless user base of Jio swelled to 44.32 crore in July, according to monthly subscriber data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Airtel’s subscriber count rose to 35.40 crore in July. Vodafone Idea lost 14.3 lakh wireless users during July, as its subscriber count slipped to 27.19 crore.
The telecom sector has got a shot in the arm with the Cabinet recently approving a blockbuster relief package for the industry, which includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid, and allowing 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.
The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies like Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues, also include the scrapping of spectrum usage charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future auctions. The reforms package is expected to give the much-needed respite to Vodafone Idea, which was struggling to stay afloat.