Does India’s Telecom Market Have A New Leader To Offer?

Recent reports by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) show that in the month of July, both, Airtel and Jio gained users lost by Vi (formerly Vodafone-Idea). Currently, Jio has highest number of total users in India but in terms of active users Airtel and Jio have almost similar numbers. Also, Jio’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) was lower than Airtel’s and Vi’s in the July-Sept quarter of 2020. Let’s have a close look at this battle for the top position in the telecom market with the help of some numbers.

Crux of the Matter

Before we delve into the numbers of individual companies, let us have a look at how the subscriber base looks like.

Including both the active and inactive users, Jio tops the list of highest market share with ~40.1 crore subscribers. Have a look at the complete breakdown below:

The story gets interesting here onwards. Airtel and Vi, both lost users in the month of June, whereas Jio gained many of them. However, in the month of July, only Vi lost consumers, whereas, as also can be seen in the chart below, Airtel and Jio both seem to gain Vi’s lost users.

Well, yes Airtel is gaining momentum and and catching up with the telecom leader Jio. but here is something to spice up that narrative. Although Jio has the highest number of total users (inactive + active), there is not much difference between the active users of Jio and Airtel.

What is ARPU?
Average revenue per user (ARPU) is one of the metrics used to measure how a telecom company is performing. Simply, it is the average revenue the telecom generates from its user. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue by number of subscribers. The race to the top between Jio and Airtel intensifies in another facet as Airtel reported a higher ARPU than Jio in the July-September quarter of 2020. Have a look at the infographic below.

Read More: Understanding AGR Dispute And India’s Changing Telecoms Industry

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