After fierce competition over the past 12 months, Airtel’s 33.3% active user share exceeded Jio’s 33.2% in October, driven by higher mobile broadband customer gains, emphasizing quality improvement. of its additional subscribers, “ICICI Securities said, analyzing the latest customer data issued by the telecommunications regulator.
Vi, however, continued to suffer more on this score, losing 1.2 million active users in October, dragging its overall active user base up to 260 million. The Indo-British telecommunications joint venture between Britain’s Vodafone Plc and the Aditya Birla group has lost 20 million active users since April this year.
The India Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Trai) active location or visitor (VLR) log data is a key metric reflecting the actual number of customers actively using a mobile network. The latest VLR report showed 96.74% of Airtel users were active, while the numbers were much lower at 88.8% for Vi and 78.6% for Jio.
JM Financial said the VLR report indicates the level of subscriber activity and, consequently, the revenue-generating potential of the existing subscriber base for telecom companies, adding that the metric continues to fall below pre-pandemic levels. for both Jio and Vi. Only Airtel’s VLR report surpasses the pre-Covid level, he added.
According to data from the regulator, Airtel recorded a higher share of active users than Jio in the period January-March 2020. Subsequently, both telecom companies reached 32% in April. From May onwards, Jio took the lead, but Airtel began to narrow the gap again from August, almost catching up in September, and then getting ahead in October. Conversely, between January and October, Vi’s share of active users dropped from 30.1% to 27.1%. Motilal Oswal said: “Airtel has increased Jio in overall subscriber additions and is also a leader in 4G user additions,” which helped it “regain its top position in the market share of active subscribers in October “.
Kotak Institutional Equities, however, “expects the fight for (Vi’s) clients to remain intense” between Airtel and Jio, particularly with news suggesting Jio intends to make a bigger push by relaunching its low-cost VoLTE JioPhones at early next year and also launching the long-awaited low-cost smartphone in partnership with Google.
Airtel led by Sunil Mittal also snatched the leadership position from Jio in terms of actual number of active users. It added 3 million active users in October, helped by strong earnings in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat, bringing its active user base to 320 million, pushing Jio – which added 1.1 million active users – to the second place with 319 million similar users. Airtel also added 4.2 million mobile broadband users, nearly double Jio’s 2.2 million.
“A lower VLR ratio for Jio could indicate moderate usage among JioPhone users driven by short-term economic uncertainties, while in the case of Vi, it could be due to reduced usage among its 2G user base, due to difficulties in recharge or short-term economic difficulties, “JM Financial said in its note.