One man's loss is another man's gain. As per data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Vodafone Idea and Airtel lost over 49 lakh users in September while rival Reliance Jio added 69.83 lakh new users to its network. Total wireless subscribers saw monthly growth of 0.23 per cent, jumping to 117.37 in September from 117.1 crores a month prior to that, TRAI said.
While wireless subscription declined to 65.91 crores in urban areas, wireless subscription increased to 51.45 crores in rural areas, TRAI added. According to TRAI, Airtel lost 23.8 lakh users in September to take its total user base to 32.55 crores. Similarly, Vodafone Idea lost 25.7 lakh users in the month to take its total user base to 37.24 crores. Meanwhile, Reliance Jio added 69.83 lakh users in September, taking its total user base to 35.52 crores.
As on September 30, 2019, Vodafone Idea had a subscriber market share of 31.73 per cent, Reliance Jio had a market share of 30.26 per cent, and Bharti Airtel of 27.74 per cent. State-run MTNL saw 8,717 users move out (33.93 lakh user base), while BSNL added 7.37 lakh users to take its total base to 11.69 crores.
The wireless teledensity in India increased from 88.77 at the end of August to 88.90 at the end of September, TRAI said.
In related news, share prices of Vodafone Idea and Airtel were up on Tuesday. While Vodafone idea shares rose sharply by up to 35 per cent after both Vodafone Idea and Airtek announced a hike in a mobile phone call and data charges from December saying the increase was warranted for the viability of their business.
Last week, Vodafone Idea reported a consolidated loss of Rs 50,921 crores for September-ending quarter, which is the highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate, following the Supreme Court's order in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case.
The Supreme Court directed telecom companies, including Vodafone Idea, to pay dues as demanded by the Department of Telecom. Vodafone Idea has said that its ability to continue business will depend on reliefs sought from the government, which needs to ease off on payment demands.
(With PTI inputs)