Airtel added 14.2 million subscribers in the quarter ending December 2020 or Q3 FY2021, and 13.9 million in the previous quarter, respectively. This is significantly more than Reliance Jio, which only added 5.2 million and 7.3 million subscribers in the two quarters, respectively. Also Read - Reliance Jio's low-cost laptop with Android-based JioOS coming soon, to be called JioBook: Report
Notably, Reliance Jio has continually seen a loss in subscriber base. According to data by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Jio’s active users fell 78 percent in June last year, which is close to a three-year low, from 84 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, Vodafone-Idea and Airtel active subscribers were up by 90 percent and 98 percent, respectively over the same period. Also Read - 4G spectrum auction: Reliance Jio comes out as highest bidder, Airtel follows
Airtel records highest quarterly revenue
Airtel recorded the highest ever consolidated quarterly revenues of Rs 26,518 crore in Q3, up 24.2 percent when it comes to year-on-year (YoY) growth. The company’s India business grew to Rs 19,007 crore, which is up 25.2 percent YoY, which it said is its highest ever quarterly. Also Read - Top postpaid plans from Jio, Airtel, Vi with free Netflix, Disney Plus Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video access
The mobile services revenue in India grew 32.4 percent YoY. The total number of 4G subscriber base is 165.6 million, which is a 33.8 percent YoY growth compared to the previous year. It added close to 42 million 4G customers in the last four quarters alone. Meanwhile, the average revenue per user (ARPU) has increased to Rs 166 in the third quarter, compared to Rs 135 in the third quarter, 2020.
“The main highlight of the quarter was the ~13 million 4G customers we added in our wireless business. As a result, we grew our revenues by ~25 percent over the same period last year and margins expanded,” Airtel said in a press statement.
Airtel, Jio testing 5G in India
Airtel recently successfully demonstrated its live 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad. The company is testing its 5G services in India as of now and there is no clarity on when it will be rolled out commercially.
The telecom operator claimed that users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds during the test in Hyderabad. Airtel says its 5G connectivity can deliver 10x speeds, 10x latency, and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies.
Reliance Jio is another player, which is testing 5G in India. Mukesh Ambani said in the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July last year that the company has designed and developer a complete 5G solution from scratch.