Nearly two-and-a-half years after launching mobile phone services, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has overtaken Bharti Airtel’s subscriber base to emerge as the second-largest telecom company in the country.Jio, which has a customer base of 30.6 crore, now trails only Vodafone-Idea.
Jio overtakes Airtel
Airtel has 28.4 crore subscribers while Vodafone-Idea had announced that it had 38.7 crore subscribers in December 2018.Airtel’s numbers were confirmed by a company spokesperson after TOI sent a query on Tuesday evening.A telecom industry analyst said that the pace of growth of Jio’s subscriber additions may see the company overtake Vodafone-Idea in the coming quarters.
“Vodafone-Idea is the most vulnerable of the three private players in the market, and it may just be a matter of few more quarters, may be three-four, before it is overtaken by Jio,” the analyst said, requesting anonymity as he advises many telecom companies.
For Sunil Mittal’s Airtel, which dominated the Indian telecom space for almost two decades, the fall has been dramatic – it used to be the market leader till the middle of last year before being edged out by the new entity that formed after the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
The meteoric growth in Jio’s business since it launched services in September 2016 has been fuelled by aggressive and dirt-cheap consumer tariff plans with the company launching operations with free voice call facility.
“The remarkable growth of Jio has been unprecedented and the company is expected to dominate the customer acquisition space through aggressive and innovative tariff plans, including bundling of content packages,” said Mohan Shukla, CEO of FinXPros, a consultancy firm. – Source.