Reliance Jio Lost Most Wireless Subscribers in December 2021 as Airtel, BSNL Gained: TRAI


Reliance Jio registered a loss of over 12.9 million wireless subscribers even as Bharti Airtel and BSNL gained new ones in December 2021, according to a telecom subscripton report by TRAI. However, the market share of the company still remains the highest at 36 percent, followed by Airtel at 30.81 percent, which gained over 450,000 subscribers, and Vi at 23 percent after losing about 1.6 million users. Bharti Airtel had the biggest proportion of active wireless subscribers (aka VLR subscribers) in the month of December, and PSUs like BSNL and MTNL registered the lowest VLR subscribers percentage, respectively.

TRAI’s telecom subscription report for December 2021 showed that 1,000.63 million wireless subscribers were active on the date of peak VLR in the month. The number of wireless subscribers in India decreased from 1,167.50 million at the end of November 2021 to 1,154.62 million at the end of December 2021, registering a monthly decline rate of 1.10 percent. The wireless subscriptions in urban areas decreased from 638.46 million to 633.34 million and decreased from 529.04 million to 521.28 million in rural areas in a month. Monthly decline rates of urban and rural wireless subscription were 0.80 percent percent and 1.47 percent, respectively.

In terms of Access Service Provider-wise segregation, the private access service providers held 89.81 percent of market share, and the two PSUs (BSNL and MTNL) had a market share of only 10.19 percent, as on December 31, 2021. Jio captured 36 percent of the total wireless subscriber market, and has the second best proportion of its active wireless subscribers at 87.64 percent.

As per a report by TelecomTalk, Reliance Jio might be working to remove the inactive subscribers from its total subscriptions. It also says that the prepaid tariff hikes in November might have pushed low-income users to go to BSNL.

Airtel is the second-largest telecom giant with 30.81 percent market share in terms of wireless subscribers, however, it registered the biggest 98.01 percent proportion of its active wireless subscribers. The third spot went to Vi, which captured 23 percent of the total market share, and registered 86.42 percent proportion of its active wireless subscribers. BSNL had 9.90 percent market share and MTNL 0.28 percent market share in the month of December, as per TRAI.

When it comes to growth percentage, Jio registered a monthly negative growth of 3.01 percent, Airtel registered 0.13 percent growth and Vodafone Idea registered 0.60 percent negative growth in wireless subscribers in the month of December 2021.

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