One of the largest telecom operators in India, Reliance Jio, saw a fall in the number of active monthly users in April. This has happened for the first time since September 2016.
A report by Goldman Sachs and ICICI Securities states that Jio added just 0.4 million active subscribers in April, whereas last year between September and October they had roped in almost 16 million subscribers a month.
This is the fourth straight month Jio has seen a drop in active users. The reason for the slowdown is because most people acquired Jio SIM cards in bulk when it was free, and now have stopped using the services after the free data period ended.
Reliance Jio’s net subscriber addition also slowed down to 3.87 million in April from its peak of 20.2 million new customer additions in December 2016. However, this is still the best considering Airtel added 2.85 million followed by 0.81 million by BSNL, 0.75 million by Vodafone and 0.68 million by Idea in April itself.
Despite the individual slowdown the total number of telephone subscribers increased by 0.36 percent between March and April 2017 according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Total wireless or mobile subscriber base increased by 0.38 percent to 1,174.60 million in April from 1,170.18 million in March. The growth rate is at a seven-month low from the peak of 2.67 percent registered in October. This happened when Reliance Jio added 19.6 million customers.
Reliance Jio maintained its lead in terms of customer acquisition despite the end of its free 4G service offer. The company accounted for about 87 percent of total new mobile customer additions in April.
Tata Teleservices was biggest loser of mobile subscribers in April. The net subscriber loss of the company was 1.46 million. Reliance Communications lost 1.32 million subscribers, followed by Aircel, Sistema Shyam, and MTNL.