Reliance Jio adds most subscribers in October despite voice call charges
31 December 2019
Reliance Jio added over 9.1 million new subscribers in October, taking its total subscriber base to 364.3 million even as India's mobile phone customer base rose by 9.66 million to 1.18 billion in October.
According to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), while Reliance Jio added 9.1 million subscribers, the rest of the major telecom service providers, including Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and state-owned BSNL and MTNL added a paltry 5.6 lakh customers.
Interestingly, this increase in the number of subscribers for Jio comes although in the same month it announced to charge calls to other operators.
Reliance Industries (RIL), the parent company of Jio, said on 9 October that it would charge customers 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to other networks to compensate for the interconnect fee.
Further, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea also added to their subscriber base, which have for some time now have mostly reported loss of subscribers.
India's largest operator in terms of subscribers, Vodafone Idea added nearly 1.9 lakh new customers during the period to take its customer base to around 372.7 million. Bharti Airtel added around 81,974 subscribers and its subscriber base by the end of October stood at 325.6 million.
The total number of wireless telecom subscribers in the country rose to 1.18 billion in October from 1.17 billion in September, the data showed.
"Total wireless subscribers (2G, 3G and 4G) increased from 1,173.75 million at the end of September 2019 to 1,183.40 million at the end of October 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.82 per cent," Trai stated in its release.
"Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 659.18 million at the end of September 2019 to 662.92 million at the end of October 2019, and wireless subscription in rural areas also increased from 514.56 million at the end of September 2019 to 520.48 million at the end of October 2019. Monthly growth rates of urban and rural wireless subscription were 0.57 per cent and 1.15 per cent respectively," it added.