Bharati Airtel has been moving ahead of Reliance Jio for the past five months in terms of overall net subscriber addition and the number of 4G users. Bharti Airtel has gained more than Jio when it came to capturing those users who were leaving Vodafone Idea’s network. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that Airtel’s wireless subscriber market share rose to 29.36% in December 2020 from just 27.96% in July of 2020. In the same period, Jio’s market share showed a slight increase from 35.03% to 35.43%. While Vodafone Idea’s share decreased from 26.34% in July to 24.64% in December. On the other hand, the state-run BSNL has remained mostly stagnant rising from 10.29% to 10.37%. It is visible from these statistics that Airtel has benefited the most from Vodafone Idea’s loss.
Airtel has regained its leadership position in the segment of active wireless subscribers (VLR). Airtel’s VLR subscribers increased by 5.5 million to reach 328 million improving shares to 33.7% and continue to have the highest VLR level at 97.1%. On the other hand, in case of Jio VLR subscribers increased by 3.2 million to reach a total of 328 million amounting to a share of 33.6% having a VLR level of 80.3%. When we look at the VT subscribers of Vodafone India, we observe that it has declined to 26.3% losing 1.5 million users.
This shifting in market share is caused by requests for mobile number portability. In December, a total of 8.20 million requests were made for MNP. It has been over 7 million per month since July. As a result, over 300 million 2G customers were up for grabs out of which Airtel has managed to make the most gains. In the case of new users, the market is saturated with 1,153.77 million wireless customers. Therefore, the telecoms must resort to means by which they can grab each other’s customers.