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Airtel Added 4.05 Million Wireless Subscribers in December 2020, Beat Jio in VLR Subscribers: TRAI

Airtel holds a smaller market share compared to Jio, though it has a high number of active wireless subscribers.

Airtel Added 4.05 Million Wireless Subscribers in December 2020, Beat Jio in VLR Subscribers: TRAI

Photo Credit: TRAI

Airtel was behind in VLR numbers in November 2020

Highlights
  • Airtel added 4.3 million mobile subscribers in November
  • Jio added only 478,917 subscribers in December
  • Vi lost another 5.69 million subscribers

Airtel added 4.05 million wireless subscribers in the month of December 2020, retaining its top spot when it comes to monthly subscribers. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released latest data for the last month of 2020 which shows Reliance Jio added only around 479,000 wireless subscribers. Airtel also beat Jio in terms of visitor location register or VLR subscribers — which is generally considered a good measure of active subscribers, as opposed to overall numbers that include dormant accounts. The two have been trading blows with each other in this regard with Jio on top in November 2020.

Airtel has consistently added more subscribers than any other telco and as per the latest data by TRAI, the month of December 2020 was no different. It added 4.05 million wireless subscribers taking its total wireless subscriber base to 338.7 million as of December 31, 2020. Airtel's market share was 29.36 percent, which was a slight increase from 28.97 percent in the previous month. Jio was quite far behind with its 478,917 subscribers added in December. However, it still holds the maximum market share at 35.43 percent, a slight increase from its 35.34 percent in November 2020.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Vodafone Idea (Vi) lost subscribers with the former loosing 252,501 and the latter loosing over 5.69 million. BSNL holds a 10.29 percent market share while Vi holds a 24.64 percent market share as of December 31 2020. In the previous month, Airtel added 4.3 million, Jio added 1.9 million, BSNL lost around 18,360 while Vi lost 2.8 million.

In terms of active wireless subscribers, Airtel and Jio have been head to head for past several months but this time Airtel managed to take the lead with its 328.87 million VLR subscribers. Jio was not far behind with its 327.97 million. In the previous month, Jio was ahead with 3224.78 million compared to Airtel's 323.39 million.

When it comes to the proportion of active wireless subscribers compared to the total subscribers per telco, Airtel maintains its lead with 97.10 percent, followed by Vi with 90.26 percent, and then Jio with 80.23 percent. Even though Jio has more subscribers overall, both Airtel and Vi have a higher proportion of active wireless subscribers.

In terms of market share for wireless broadband providers, Jio was at 408.77 million, Airtel at 176.19 million, Vi at 120.77 million, and BSNL at 18.62 million.

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Vineet Washington writes about gaming, smartphones, audio devices, and new technologies for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Vineet is a Senior Sub-editor for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about gaming on all platforms and new developments in the world of smartphones. In his free time, Vineet likes to play video games, make clay models, play the guitar, watch sketch-comedy, and anime. Vineet is available on vineetw@ndtv.com, so please send in your leads and tips. More
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