Reliance Jio has upstaged Bharti Airtel to become the second largest telco in terms of subscribers.
According to May data released by the telecom regulator, Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio had nearly 323 million customers compared with Sunil Mittal-led Airtel’s 320.38 million. Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Vodafone Idea, remains the market leader with 387.55 million.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have been losing subscribers at a fast rate, owing mainly to their introduction of the minimum recharge plans. The two telcos said this was done to weed out the non-performing customers, which boosted their average revenue per user. Airtel lost 1.51 million users in May, which Voda Idea lost 5.7 million.
On the other hand, Jio added some 8.2 million customers, according to Trai’s May data, mainly attracting subscribers at the lower end of the revenue base through its 4G feature phone, Jio Phone. This however has been a drag on the telco's ARPU.