scorecardReliance Jio and Airtel add nearly 5 million subscribers in January 2024
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Reliance Jio and Airtel add nearly 5 million subscribers in January 2024

Reliance Jio and Airtel add nearly 5 million subscribers in January 2024
Business2 min read
  • Reliance Jio and Airtel have reported an increase in subscribers in January 2024.
  • Vi has once again reported a decline in subscribers, along with state-owned BSNL.
  • The overall subscriber base in India has also recorded an increase at the start of the year.
India’s two biggest telecom operators, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have once again reported an increase in their subscriber base, while the cash-strapped Vi reported a decline in its subscriber count.

Vi, the only private telecom operator to have not rolled out 5G services in the country, lost 1.52 million subscribers in January 2024 according to data from market regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telco had lost 1.38 million subscribers in December 2023.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) reported a decline of 1.18 million subscribers in January 2024.

Reliance Jio adds over 4 million subscribers

While the two telcos continued to lose subscribers in January 2024, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio added 4.18 million subscribers during the period. With this, the company’s total subscriber base has increased from 459.81 million subscribers to 463.99 million subscribers, further strengthening its stronghold in the Indian telecom industry.

Out of the 463.99 million subscribers, Jio’s active subscriber base currently stands at 425.61 million, which is around 91.73%.

Airtel continues to add subscribers

Sunil Mittal-led Airtel added 0.75 million subscribers in January 2024, taking its total subscriber base from 381.73 million subscribers in December 2023 to 382.48 million subscribers in January 2024.

Airtel has the highest proportion of active subscribers at 99.64%. Out of its 382.48 million subscribers, the telco’s active subscribers stand at 381.09 million.

Vi and BSNL’s subscriber base shrinks

Vi lost 1.52 million subscribers in January 2024, taking its total subscribers from 223.05 million in December 2023 to 221.53 million users.

Vi also has the lowest active subscriber proportion among the three at 88.01%. Out of its 221.53 million subscribers, only 193.96 million subscribers are active.

On the other hand, state-run telco BSNL’s loss of 1.18 million subscribers takes it total subscriber count to 90.59 million, down from 91.78 million subscribers in December 2023.

MNP requests continue to grow

Mobile number portability (MNP), which allows users to shift from one telecom operator to another, recorded 12.36 million requests during January 2024. With this, the total number of MNP requests received since the introduction of this in November 2010 has reached 939.55 million.

Vi expected to rollout 5G services in six months

According to a report by the Economic Times, Vi plans to roll out its 5G services in India in the coming six months after it gets funding. Vi is also expected to turn off its 3G services by FY25 and use this spectrum to offer improved 4G services.

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