In July 2023, Reliance Jio and Airtel once again expanded their subscriber base at the expense of Vi, continuing a prevailing trend. Vi, the troubled telecommunications company that has yet to introduce 5G services in India, experienced a loss of 1.32 million subscribers in July 2023, as reported by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Everything about the Jio, Airtel, and Vi Subscriber Scenario
During this same period, Reliance Jio, led by Mukesh Ambani, emerged as the biggest gainer, acquiring 3.9 million new subscribers. Airtel, on the other hand, added 1.52 million subscribers to its network. State-owned BSNL also witnessed a decline of 1.41 million subscribers.
As a result, Jio’s subscriber base has grown to 442.49 million, making it the largest in the industry, followed by Airtel with 375.24 million subscribers. Vi lags behind significantly with 228.33 million subscribers.
Notably, the total number of mobile subscribers increased by 2.7 million users in July 2023, marking the highest monthly increase since May 2022. This also led to an uptick in active subscribers, reaching 1046.41 million users in July 2023.
Jio continues to maintain its dominant position in the industry, with an additional 3.9 million subscribers in July 2023, pushing its total subscriber base from 438.58 million to 442.49 million users. Airtel, despite its growth of 1.52 million subscribers, remains significantly behind Jio with 375.24 million subscribers.
In a positive development for consumers, Kotak predicts that a tariff increase is unlikely to occur before the 2024 general elections due to intensified competition among telecom companies, making such a move challenging.
July 2023 saw a surge in mobile number portability (MNP) requests, reaching 11.8 million. This surge suggests heightened competition among telecom providers vying to attract new subscribers.
Furthermore, Vi is expected to continue losing subscribers in the upcoming months as it remains the only major telco yet to introduce 5G services. Users are anticipated to switch to Jio and Airtel in pursuit of faster speeds, leading to an ongoing increase in MNP requests. Jefferies noted that Vi users are likely to port out to experience 5G on Airtel and Jio.