Private telecom operator Reliance Jio dethroned state-owned BSNL to become the largest landline operator in the country in August, according to a Trai report released on Tuesday.
For the first time since the inception of telecom services in this country, a private operator has secured the numero uno position in the wireless segment.
Jio’s wireless subscriber base stood at 73.52 lakh, while BSNL’s stood at 71.32 lakh, according to Tray’s August subscriber report.
BSNL has been providing wireline services for the past 22 years, while Jio has launched wireline services 3 years ago.
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Wireline subscribers in the country increased from 2.56 million in July to 2.59 million in August.
Growth was dominated by the private sector, with Jio adding 2.62 lakh new customers, Bharti Airtel 1.19 lakh, Vodafone Idea (Vi) 4,202 and Tata Teleservices 3,769.
State-owned telecom firms BSNL and MTNL lost 15,734 and 13,395 landline customers in August, respectively.
According to a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the country’s total telecom subscriber base grew to 117.5 million in August, with Jio adding more new customers and rural areas growing at a higher rate than urban centers.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased to 1,175.08 million at the end of August 22 from 1,173.66 million at the end of July 22, registering a month-on-month growth rate of 0.12 percent,” TRAI said in its subscriber report for August 2022.
The monthly growth rate of urban and rural telephone subscriptions was 0.10 and 0.14 percent, respectively.
Only Reliance Jio (32.81 lakh) and Bharti Airtel (3.26 lakh) added new mobile customers, while debt-ridden private equity firm Vi was the biggest loser in August.
According to the report, Vi lost 19.58 lakh mobile customers, BSNL 5.67 lakh, MTNL 470 and Reliance Communications 32.
The number of broadband subscribers in the country increased by 0.81 percent from 80.74 million in July to 81.39 million in August.
In August, the top five service providers accounted for 98.39% of the market share of broadband subscribers. According to the report, Reliance Jio had 42.58 crore broadband subscribers, Bharti Airtel 22.39 crore, Vi 12.31 crore, BSNL 2.58 crore and Atria Convergence 21.3 lakh broadband subscribers.