scorecardJio pips Airtel to gain more subscribers but Vi continues to bleed
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Jio pips Airtel to gain more subscribers but Vi continues to bleed

Jio pips Airtel to gain more subscribers but Vi continues to bleed
Business2 min read
Representational image    Airtel/Jio/Vi
  • Reliance Jio and Airtel have reported an increase in subscribers in July 2023.
  • Cash-strapped Vi has once again reported a decline in subscribers during the month.
  • There has been a significant increase in active subscribers of Airtel and Jio.
Reliance Jio and Airtel have once gained subscribers at the cost of Vi in July 2023, continuing the ongoing trend. The troubled telco, which is the only private operator to have not rolled out 5G services in the country, lost 1.32 million subscribers in July 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 3.9 million subscribers. Airtel on the other hand gained 1.52 million subscribers. State-owned BSNL also reported a decline of 1.41 million subscribers.

With this, Jio’s subscriber base has increased to 442.49 million subscribers, followed by Airtel with 375.24 million subscribers. Vi is a distant third with 228.33 million subscribers.

Highest monthly addition in subscribers

The total mobile subscribers increased by 2.7 million users in July 2023, the highest monthly increase since May 2022. This has also resulted in an increase in active subscribers to 1046.41 million users in July 2023.

Jio continues to lead the industry

Jio has further strengthened its lead against Airtel and Vi with an increase of 3.9 million subscribers in July 2023. With this, the company’s total subscriber base has increased from 438.58 million to 442.49 million users.

While Airtel has reported an increase of 1.52 million subscribers, its total subscriber base is still significantly behind Jio at 375.24 million.

Tariff hike unlikely before the 2024 elections

In good news for users, Kotak has predicted that a tariff hike is unlikely before the 2024 general elections. The competition among telcos has increased, making a tariff hike a difficult proposition.

In July 2023, mobile number portability (MNP) requests surged to 11.8 million. This indicates increased competition among telcos to gain subscribers.

“MNP requests stayed elevated at 11.8 mn, indicating intense competition to gain subs, with tariff hikes unlikely until after the 2024 general elections, in our view,” Kotak said in its report.

Interest in 5G to further decrease Vi’s subscribers

As Vi is the only major telco yet to roll out 5G services, the telco is expected to further lose subscribers in the coming months as users port out to Jio and Airtel to experience faster speeds.

“Expect MNP requests to stay elevated partly due to Vi users porting out to experience 5G on Airtel and Jio,” said Jefferies in its report.