How big is Reliance Jio‘s new userbase? If you go by the latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report, it’s twice in number as compared to the major incumbent players put together. According to the latest data, the Mukesh Ambani-led operator added the highest number of uses in 11 months.
As per the report, Reliance Jio added close to 83 lakh subscribers in January. In comparison, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular added a combined total of just 39 lakh new users. This comes as no surprise for Jio which started its commercial operation in later 2017 and by the end of December, had already surpassed the mark of 100 million users.
Jio’s growth is not attributed only to the ‘effectively free’ benefits. The company also has its 4G feature smartphone JioPhone to credit its success to. This, along with the recent price cuts in January has helped the company gain more users.
The overall growth of one operator took a toll on the sector on the whole. As Bloomberg Quint reports, the telecom sector lost over 1.5 crore subscribers as the number of multi-SIM users fell. This was driven by consolidation among service providers and affordable bundled plans. Even as the sector continued to grapple, Jio’s subscriber addition rose for the second consecutive month after falling in December.
User base declined for smaller operators including Reliance Communications Limited, Tata Teleservices Limited, Aircel, MTNL, and Telenor, who reported over 2.8 crore decline in userbase in January. Given the aggressive competition in the sector, some of the operators have been compelled to either consider consolidation or end up shutting shop.
Tata Teleservices and Telenor have stopped their services after being taken over by Bharti Airtel while Aircel is said to have stopped its services in six of its circles. Meanwhile, Anil Ambani-owned RCom has sold its assets and decided to operate as a virtual network operator.
To take the network juggernaut head on, operators including Airtel and Idea are continually revising their data offerings. Airtel is running its ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ campaign to counter Jio’s Football Offer, whereas Idea Cellular is offering its Nirvana Plans to lure customers.