The festive season worked out favourably for Reliance Jio after the operator reported massive growth in subscriber addition for October, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
Jio reported 9.1 million subscriber additions in the month — the third time it added over 9 million subscribers in a month. It had reported 9.3 million additions in January and 9.4 million in February. Rivals Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel reported subdued numbers with 189,901 and 81,974 additions, respectively.
In terms of wireless subscription, Vodafone Idea has a market share of 31.49 per cent followed by Jio (30.79 per cent) and Airtel (27.52 per cent). In September, the older telcos reported a combined loss of 4.9 million subscribers while Jio had slipped below its average performance with less than 7 million additions.
In October, Jio said it would charge interconnect usage charge from customers making calls outside the home network.
However, Jio said the full impact of that move would be visible in November numbers.
The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,195.24 million in September to 1,204.85 million in October, showing a monthly growth rate of 0.80 per cent. Urban telephone subscription increased from 677.95 million at the end of September to 681.69 million at the end of October. Rural subscription increased from 517.29 million to 523.16 million during the same period. The monthly growth rates of urban and rural subscription were 0.55 per cent and 1.14 per cent, respectively, during October.
Jammu & Kashmir showed negative growth of 0.39 per cent in wireless subscribers growth during the month as communication services remained suspended in the region with post-paid services restored in the second half of October. Madhya Pradesh service area showed maximum growth of 2.86 per cent in their wireless subscriber during the month.
Wireline subscribers declined from 21.49 million to 21.45 million. Net decline in the wireline subscriber base was 0.04 million with a monthly decline rate of 0.20 per cent. The share of urban and rural subscribers in total wireline subscribers were 87.49 per cent and 12.51 per cent, respectively.
The top five wired broadband service providers were BSNL (8.62 million), Airtel (2.40 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (1.49 million), Hathway Cable & Datacom (0.87 million) and Jio (0.79 million). The top five wireless broadband service providers were Jio (364.33 million), Airtel (130.45 million), Vodafone Idea (115.78 million), BSNL (13.64 million) and MTNL (0.20 million).