Saturday 2 May 2020

Jio is the Largest Mobile Network in India by Subscriber Numbers

Last year, nearly the same time we wrote about Jio just crossing the 300 million mark. In the latest set of announcements, Jio has announced that they now have 388 million subscribers. I do not see an M2M breakout for Jio anywhere, so I am assuming these are all non-M2M connections.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) annual report, the wireless subscribers at the end of 2019 stood as follows:

  • Bharti Airtel (including Tata Tele.) 327.3 million
  • Reliance Com 17.7 thousand
  • Vodafone Idea - 332.6 million
  • BSNL - 118 million
  • BSNL (VNO's) - 91 thousand
  • MTNL - 3.37 million
  • Reliance Jio - 370 million
  • Total - 1.151 billion

According to Bharti Airtel press release from Feb 2020, overall customer base stands at 419 million across 16 countries. In which:

  • India 308.738 million
  • South Asia 2.933 million
  • Africa 107.140 million

According to the website, there are "India: 279,430,000 GSM mobile (Excluding M2M)". So the subscriber base is much smaller if M2M is removed.

Vodafone Idea's website says, "Welcome to the world of Vodafone Idea Limited, where our 304 million (Q3FY20) customers are at the heart of everything that we do." Combining this with the TRAI data, we can infer they have roughly 28 million M2M connections.
One argument is also about the number of active connections rather than just subscribers. TRAI report says that while Airtel have 96.14% active subscriber base, Jio is just 89.47%. The number is for Dec 2019. Taking this data into account along with the latest numbers, we can still confidently say that Reliance Jio has more active subscribers (approx. 319.63 million) in March 2020 than any other mobile operator.

Jio is on it's way to be the second largest operator (including groups) in the world.

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