MUMBAI: Vodafone Idea lost 6.3 million subscribers in March, while Bharti Airtel lost 1.2 million users in the month, according to data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Reliance Jio added 4.68 million subscribers during the same time.
Reliance Jio now commands 33.47% wireless market share, while Airtel has 28.31% and Vodafone Idea 27.57%.
The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased to 1,177.97 million at the end of March from 1,180.84 million at the end of February. Urban telephone user base fell 5 million to 656.46 million at the end of March, while in rural India it increased 2 million to 521.51 million.
In February, telecom subscribers increased by 4.15 million although Vodafone Idea lost 3.46 million subscribers in that month.
Airtel continues to command the highest active subscriber share at 96%.18 followed by Vodafone Idea at 92% and Jio at 80.93%. Jio commands 56.5% of the broadband market share followed by Airtel (21.6%) and Vodafone Idea (17%).
During the month, which marked the beginning of large scale migration of workers from metro cities to their villages and hometowns following the lockdown imposed from 25 March, urban tele-density decreased to 142.31% from 143.59%. Rural teledensity increased marginally to 58.79% from 58.61%.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the lockdown, many low-end subscribers were unable to recharge their phones from retail outlets forcing telecom operators to extend the validity of their mobile plans.
Total wireless subscribers -- 2G, 3G & 4G -- decreased to 1,157.75 million in March from 1,160.59 million last month. Wireless subscription in urban areas decreased to 638.48 million at the end of March from 643.24 million in February. Wireless subscription in rural areas increased to 519.27 million in March from 517.34 million in February.