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Reliance Jio has lost around 1.9 crore wireless subscribers in the month of September, while Bharti Airtel added 2.74 lakh subscribers in the same period, according to the data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

The subscriber base of Airtel stood at 35.44 crore in September as against 35.41 crore users in August, while India's largest telecom operator Reliance Jio had 42.48 crore mobile subscribers.

Troubled Vodafone Idea lost 10.77 lakh subscribers during the month under review and its subscriber base shrank to 26.99 crore as on September 2021.

Airtel gained 0.08% market share of wireless subscribers, while Jio’s user base declined 4.29% in September.

It may be recalled that Reliance Jio had disclosed and talked at length about the loss of subscribers while announcing its September quarter results.

During Q2 FY22, Reliance Jio Infocomm President Kiran Thomas said Covid has been quite tough on a lot of people in India, especially at the bottom of the pyramid.

"During the peak of the second wave, we had done a lot of initiatives... giving free voice minutes to keep them on our network... to keep lifeline alive. But, two quarters later, we find that a large number of people at the bottom of the pyramid have not been able to stay up-to-date with recharges," Thomas had said.

According to the policy, the company kept them in the database for about 90 days.

"So, effectively, the effect of these people stopping recharging two quarters before is now getting reflected in our subscriber count, and because of that, you see a net reduction of about 11 million in this quarter," Thomas had said.

The muted numbers for the two private telcos also echoed on the overall headline wireless tally reported by Trai for September.

Total wireless subscribers decreased from 1.18 billion in August to 1.16 billion at the end of September, thereby registering a monthly decline rate of 1.74%.

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