Reliance Jio and Airtel add subscribers as Vi’s subscriber base continues to decline

Reliance Jio and Airtel add subscribers as Vi’s subscriber base continues to decline
Sunil Mittal and Mukesh AmbaniBCCL
  • Reliance Jio and Airtel have reported an increase in subscribers in December 2023.
  • Vi has once again reported a decline in subscribers during the month.
  • While Jio has added more subscribers, Airtel’s active subscriber base has received a big boost.
Reliance Jio and Airtel have once gained subscribers at the cost of Vi in December 2023. The two telecom operators have together added over 5 million subscribers during the final month of 2023.

Vi, which is the only private telecom operator to have not rolled out 5G services in the country, lost 1.38 million subscribers in December 2023 according to data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

During this period, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has emerged as the biggest winner, gaining 3.99 million subscribers. Airtel on the other hand gained 1.85 million subscribers. State-owned BSNL also reported a decline of 0.15 million subscribers.

With this, Jio’s subscriber base has increased to 459.81 million subscribers, followed by Airtel with 381.73 million subscribers. Vi is a distant third with 223.05 million subscribers.

With this, 4.32 million subscribers were added to the total user base, taking it to 1.16 billion users.


Airtel adds more active subscribers than Jio

While Jio added more subscribers than Airtel, the latter added more active subscribers. Airtel added 3 million active subscribers during December 2023, while Jio added only 1.21 million active subscribers. Vi on the other hand lost 1.81 million active subscribers.

Airtel’s active subscriber user base jumped to 377.54 million users, while Jio’s active subscriber base increased to 424.51 million users. Airtel’s active subscriber base stands at 98.90% of its total users, while the percentage is lower for Jio at 92.32%.

Vi on the other hand has 196.68 million active users, which is 88.18% of its total users.

MNP requests continue to grow

Mobile number portability (MNP) requests, which allows users to shift from one telecom operator to another, recorded 12.44 million requests during the month of December 2023. With this, the total number of MNP requests received since the introduction of this in November 2010 has reached 927.19 million.

Vi expected to rollout 5G services in six months

According to a report by 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.

Jio also leads in the landline segment

Jio added 0.24 million landline subscribers in December 2023, taking its total user base to 11.05 million users. Airtel on the other hand added 82,317 subscribers to reach 8.31 million subscribers. Vi added 9,656 subscribers to reach 0.69 million subscribers. State-run telco BSNL which ranks third lost 34,250 subscribers, taking its tally to 6.14 million subscribers.


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