Reliance Jio displaced Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to emerge as the second largest telecom operator in terms of subscribers at the end of July, data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Tuesday showed.
Though Jio has been adding the maximum number of subscribers each month, at end June it was still at number four position — slightly behind Idea Cellular — with a total subscriber base of 215 million.
In July, Jio once again added the maximum number of users at 12 million, taking its tally not only beyond Idea but also Vodafone with a gross user base of 227 million.
However, since Vodafone and Idea have now merged, their combined user base is the largest in the country, even ahead of former No. 1 Bharti Airtel. If the combined entity is taken, Jio will rank third. At the end of July, Bharti’s total user base stood at 345 million, Vodafone’s at 223.3 million and Idea’s at 220.6 million.
As recently reported by FE, almost 50% of the new subscriber additions on Jio’s network is coming from JioPhone since the last two months, the time when it slashed the price of its 4G feature phone from Rs 1,500 to Rs 501 in exchange for an old feature phone. While earlier Jio used to add around 6-7 million subscribers per month, it has started adding around 10-12 million a month.
Analysts said that in the coming months Jio’s net subscriber addition is likely to surge even more as with the price cut of the JioPhone it’s able to address almost 90% of the 500-million-strong feature phone market.