Vi loses subscribers, Reliance Jio and Airtel gain nearly 1 million each in February

Reliance Jio Airtel

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Vodafone Idea lost over 2 million subscribers in February, while Reliance Jio and Airtel each added nearly 1 million subscribers.

As a result, the total number of telecom subscribers fell by 1.1 million to 1,142 million in February.

As of February 31, Vi had 237.9 million subscribers, Jio had 427.1 million subscribers, and Airtel had 369.8 million subscribers. In terms of active subscribers, Airtel continues to lead the industry – 99.25% have an active plan, whereas Jio has 93.08% and Vi has 87.5%.

Since March 2021, Jio and Airtel have been nibbling away at Vi’s market share. Vi reported a net addition in subscribers last March. Since then, the company has lost almost 46 million subscribers, while Jio has added 4.3 million subscribers and Airtel has added 17.4 million.

Since January 2022, Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea have added subscriber numbers

Since Jio and Airtel launched 5G services in October, Vodafone has lost 11.2 million subscribers, while Jio has added 7.2 million subscribers and Airtel has added 5.7 million.

Similarly, Jio and Airtel have seen their active subscriber bases rise by 4 million, while Vi reported a decline of 0.8 million.

In spite of this, the gap between the three telcos has continued to widen. Reliance Jio continues to dominate Airtel and Vi as it adds more active subscribers.

In a Jefferies report, it was noted that Reliance Jio’s lead in active subscriber additions and Bharti’s gains in market share should keep both telcos open to increased tariffs. This bodes well for both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio’s growth prospects.

Industry-wide, subscriber churn remains high

In February, the telecom industry’s total subscriber churn remained elevated at 11.2 million for the eighth consecutive month.

Analysts at Prabhudas Lilladher believe that the telecom industry will continue to consolidate, with the top two players (Jio and Airtel) gaining subscriber share at the expense of their peers.

In the March quarter, Jio reported a net profit of 4,716 crore, while Airtel and Vi have yet to report their results.

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