New data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) shows that Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd are splitting the exit Vodafone Idea (Vi) telecom subscribers equally.
In February, more than 2 million wireless customers left Vodafone Idea. Reliance Jio added 1 million subscribers, and Airtel added 982,554 subscribers. The data showed that the total number of wireless subscribers fell by more than one million during the month.
However, despite the rapid loss of subscribers, Vi still has a market share of more than 20%. Reliance Jio has the highest number of subscribers, with a market share of 37.41%. It is followed by Bharti Airtel, with a 32.39% share.
“Private access providers hold 90.63% market share of wireless subscribers as of February 28, 2023, while the two PSU access providers, BSNL and MTNL, only have a market share of 9.37%,” Trai said.
Vi struggles to pay off its dues, affecting the telco’s plans to roll out 5G services. While Jio and Airtel have launched 5G services, Vi is yet to launch in India.
In an interview with Mint earlier this week, Telecom Minister K Rajaraman said Vi was expected to have a revival plan within a month.
He also said the return of Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla to the board of the struggling telco, which is in talks with various agencies to raise funds for its 5G rollout plan, is a “positive step”.
The company’s debt as of September 2022 stands at Rs 2.2 trillion. In February, the Centre converted the company’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of Rs 16,133.3 crore into shares and became its largest shareholder.