Jio Continues To Add To Its User Base At The Expense Of Airtel, Vodafone Idea
Sim card packets for Reliance Jio, are displayed in Mumbai, on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Jio Continues To Add To Its User Base At The Expense Of Airtel, Vodafone Idea

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India’s telecom subscriber base fell to 116.36 crore in May 2020 but service providers narrowed the monthly decline to 57.6 lakh, according to TRAI data. The user base had declined by 85.3 lakh in April, when the country was under total coronavirus lockdown, to 116.94 crore.

Urban teledensity reached 137.81%, while rural teledensity stood at 59.23% in May.

"The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,169.44 million at the end of April 2020 to 1,163.67 million at the end of May 2020, a monthly decline rate of 0.49%,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said on Wednesday.

The mobile telephony segment recorded the steepest decline, with Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. losing 47 lakh customers each. The total wireless customer base of Airtel and Vodafone Idea dipped to 31.7 crore and 30.9 crore, respectively.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. continued to grow its subscriber base with a net addition of over 36 lakh new connections—it leads the telecom market with 39.2 crore users. The government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. added over two lakh new mobile subscribers, taking its total wireless customer base to 11.9 crore.

Urban centres recorded a decline of 92.3 lakh mobile subscribers while the customer base in rural areas increased by 36.2 lakh, according to the TRAI report.

The overall mobile subscriber base dipped to 114.39 crore during the reported month.

Landlines

The landline user base in India declined 1.5 lakh to 1.97 crore at the end of May. BSNL, which leads the market, continued to record a decline. Reliance Jio, which is new to the segment, gained 90,000 new subscribers.

Broadband

Despite a dip in overall subscriber base, the broadband segment grew 1.13% to 68.3 crore in May from 67.6 crore in April. Wireless broadband connections dominated the segment with 66.37 crore connections, while wired connections accounted for 1.93 crore customers.

Out of the total 344 broadband service providers, the five largest operators accounted for 98.93% market share. Reliance Jio led the broadband market share in the country with 39.37 crore connections, and was followed by Airtel (14.59 crore), Vodafone Idea (11.3 crore), BSNL (2.2 crore) and Atria Convergence (16.4 lakh).

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