According to recent reports, Reliance Jio acquired the highest number of rural users among other telcos in the month of April. It is being reported that the company has added about 96.4 lakh customers in the month of April, which is the highest it has achieved in the last 14 months. About 39 lakh of these subscribers belong to the rural regions.
According to Bloomberg, one of the biggest reasons behind the huge growth, is the success of its 4G enabled JioPhone, the company launched last year. In the brief time it has been in the market, the Rs 1,500 phone has managed to achieve about 36 percent of the market share. Along with 4G-VoLTE support, one of the key features of the phone is its ability to stream music and video files through other Jio services.
Because of Jio entering the rural markets, the TRAI report cited by Bloomberg, states smaller operators to have seen a decline in their user base. For the first time in seven months, even Vodafone saw its number of rural subscribers take a hit. However, the telco has still managed to grow in other markets. While Jio has managed to acquire about 5.4 crore subscribers in rural areas, the company still has a long way to go to catchup with Airtel, which currently has about 16 crore rural users.
Watch: JioPhone First Look
At the moment, Airtel accounts for about 27.4 percent of the total market share. It is followed by Vodafone and Idea Cellular who have about 19.7 and 19.3 percent market share respectively. Jio has managed to grow 2 percent since March, allowing it to take the fourth position with 17.4 percent market share. Rest of the market is divided between small operators, who seem to be losing their grip, as big telcos have entered the rural markets with attractive plans and promises of faster internet connectivity.