Reliance Jio Now Largest Telecom Operator in India, Beating Vodafone-Idea’s 320 Million Base


Reliance Jio has surpassed Vodafone-Idea in terms of the number of subscribers in India, based on second quarter figures released individually by both telecom operators. In figures released on Friday, Vodafone-Idea said its user base had declined in Q2 to 320 million. On the other hand, Reliance Jio last week reported it had reached 331.3 million subscribers by the end of Q2, taking the lead. As per the latest TRAI numbers, at the end of May 2019, Jio had already beaten Airtel to take the second spot, with 322.9 million subscribers against the latter’s 320.3 million.

Vodafone-Idea in its earnings report said that its subscriber base declined to 320 million at the end of June from 334.1 million from the previous quarter “due to customer churn following the introduction of ‘service validity vouchers’ in the prior quarters.” The operator revealed that its “high ARPU (average revenue per user) subscriber base remained broadly stable,” and said it had undertaken “certain market initiatives to offer a better value proposition to low ARPU customers and to reduce low-end churn.”

In a bid to improve ARPU, Vodafone-Idea also said that it had introduced bigger data bundles at Rs. 229/ 255, offering unlimited voice and 2/ 2.5GB data per day, in a bid to make heavy data users upgrade from Rs.169/ 199 plans. ARPU stood at Rs. 108 at the end of the quarter – growing 3.7 percent – and is in part thanks to low-end customer disconnections following the introduction of ‘service validity vouchers’.

To recall, Reliance Jio had last week reported it had 331.3 million subscribers at the end of Q2 2019, and its ARPU was Rs. 122 – down from Rs. 126.2 in the preceding quarter. Airtel’s last figures were reported by TRAI, for the end of May 2019.

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