India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio gained 6.49 lakh mobile users in August, leading the subscriber addition tally as the second-largest Bharti Airtel added 1.38 lakh users, according to TRAI data released on Wednesday. In contrast, Vodafone Idea lost 8.33 lakh subscribers during the month, although its losses were sharply lower compared to that in July.
Jio continued to outpace rivals in subscriber gains and cemented its market lead adding 6.49 lakh wireless users in August, as its mobile base swelled to 44.38 crore. Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel onboarded 1.38 lakh users during the month, taking it overall wireless subscriber count to 35.41 crore. That said, it is pertinent to mention that Reliance Jio had gained 65.1 lakh subscribers in July, whereas Bharti Airtel had added 19.42 lakh customers during the month.
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According to data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday, Vodafone Idea lost 8.33 lakh mobile subscribers in August as its wireless users count dipped to 27.1 crore. Notably, the troubled operator — that got a shot in the arm with the relief package announced by the government recently — has plugged its subscriber losses to an extent, given that it had shed 14.3 lakh users in July.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,209.45 million at the end of July-21 to 1,209.58 million at the end of August-21, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.01 per cent,” TRAI said in its monthly subscription data release. Urban telephone subscription increased marginally to 67.1 crore at the end of August 2021 from 67.07 crore in July 2021. “…however, the rural subscription decreased from 538.70 million (53.87 crore) to 538.28 million (53.82 crore) during the same period. The monthly growth rates of urban and rural telephone subscription were 0.08 per cent and -0.08 per cent respectively during the month of August-21,” TRAI said.
The total wireless subscribers decreased to 1,186.72 million (118.67 crore) at the end of August 21, from 1,186.84 million (118.68 crore) at the end of July-21. “Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 650.10 million at the end of July 2021 to 650.39 million at the end of August 2021 however, wireless subscription in rural areas decreased from 536.74 million to 536.33 million during the same period,” TRAI said. The wireless tele-density in India decreased to 86.78 per cent at the end of August-21, from 86.85 per cent at the end of July-21.
Bharti Airtel had the maximum proportion of active subscribers (97.92 per cent) as against its total wireless subscribers. The total broadband subscribers rose to 81.34 crore at the end of August-21 with a monthly growth rate of 0.60 per cent. Top five service providers constituted 98.75 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of August-21. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (447.57 million), Bharti Airtel (205.96 million), Vodafone Idea (123.53 million), and BSNL (24.28 million), TRAI said.