Jio’s sharper-than-expected decline in mobile users actually reduced India’s mobile user base by 12.88 million to 1.15 billion in December 2021, according to the latest subscriber data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Thursday.
In comparison, Bharti Airtel added 0.47 million wireless customers, taking its total user base to 355.76 million, while cash-strapped Vodafone Idea ( Vi ) lost another 1.61 million, further reducing its user base to 265.51 million. , which reflects its ongoing struggles in its 4G operations. front.
Jio, in fact, recently reported a decline in its customer base of 8.5 million in the December quarter, but this was partially offset by an increase in its average revenue per user (ARPU), which rose nearly 6% to Rs 152 crore in the third fiscal quarter. . Analysts said a sharp decline in Jio’s user base, as well as the release of JioPhone Next – Jio’s low-cost 4G smartphone developed with Google – did not help the telco to increase its customer base last Diwali.
Analysts also noted that Airtel’s customer additions in December showed that the Sunil Mittal-led telco was operationally superior to Jio and Vi despite tariff hikes by all three telcos by the end of November 2021. losses.
Trai data showed that Airtel and Vi expanded their customer market share to 30.81% (30.43%) and 23% (22.88%) in December, while Jio declined to 36% (36.71%), mainly due to caused by its exclusion of the low paid. users.
Jio lost nearly 6 million users in rural India in December. Bharti Airtel and Vi, on the other hand, had smaller rural user losses of 1.18 million and 0.97 million respectively.
Jio’s rural mobile user base declined to 179.93 million, while Airtel and Vi’s declined to 170.14 million and 134.32 million.
So far, Jio has strengthened its leadership in rural markets, helped by strong demand from rural consumers for its 4G feature phone offering, the JioPhone. But December subscriber numbers, compiled by Trai, also exclude low-paying users in rural markets, the Mukesh Ambani-led telco.
The Visitor Location Register (VLR), a key metric that captures the number of active mobile subscribers, showed that 98.01% of users were active for Bharti Airtel, 86.42% for Vi and 87.64% for Jio in December.