NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Ltd lost 4.8 million users in June while Bharti Airtel Ltd’s lost 1.1 million due to covid-led lockdown which resulted in decline in India’s economic activity. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) lost 1.7 million users in June.
However, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd remained unaffected by pandemic and was the only telecom operator to have added 4.5 million customers in June.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio now has 34.8% wireless market share, while Airtel and Vodafone’s subscriber base stood at 27.8% and 26.8%, respectively, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said on Thursday.
India’s overall mobile subscriber base — 2G, 3G and 4G–declined by 3.2 million in June, taking the total to 1.14 billion.
Total subscription in urban areas decreased to 636.8 million in June from 637.9 million at the end of May. Unlike the previous two months which saw exodus of migrant workers from urban to rural areas due to lockdowns leading to a rise in number of subscribers in the latter, rural subscriptions declined to 523.7 million as of 30 June from 525.8 million a month ago, The Live Mint told.
“The monthly decline rates of urban and rural telephone subscription were 0.16% and 0.41%, respectively, during the month of June-20,” the telecom regulator said.
According to analysts, the loss of millions of mobile subscribers is due to deactivation by those holding multiple SIM cards, besides the migration of workers to their native places. Lack of physical recharge outlets added to the losses that started at the end of March.