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The Telecom Saga 2023: Jio and Airtel Continue to Shine, Vi Faces Downfall


The Indian telecom industry is changing dynamically due to intense competition between operators to capture the maximum market share. With the advancements in technology, the telecom sector in India is rapidly growing, allowing users to choose among multiple operators. In recent years, the market has been dominated by two telecom giants, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Incorporating Jio 5g and Airtel 5g is highly contributing to the success of these operators. Although BSNL and VI continue to show their presence in the market, the exponential growth Jio and Airtel are witnessing, particularly in 2023, is truly remarkable. 


In today's article, we will discuss the new report released by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ) that shows the performance of various Telecom operators in India. We will also talk about Vi's downfall and the factors that led to the success of JIo and Airtel.


TRAI Report (31 May 2023)



As per the latest report released by TRAI on 31 May 2023:


● India'sIndia's largest telecom operator Jio added 30.4 lakh new subscribers in May, making the total subscriber base 43.6 nationwide. Moreover, it outperforms Airtel in gaining subscribers from VI'sVI's loss.


● Bharti Airtel, India's 2nd largest telecom player, acquired 13.3 lakh, new subscribers, resulting in a total subscriber count of 37.2 crores.


●    Vodafone Idea (Vi) continues to decline for the 26th consecutive month, with a loss of 28 lakh subscribers, leading to a total subscriber count of 23 crores.


● Apart from this, the total number of Broadband subscribers took a jump from 850.94 million by the end of April 2023 to 856.81 at the end of May 2023


● The leading Broadband operators held an impressive 98.39% market share among the total subscribers. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd with 445.23 million subscribers, Bharti Airtel with 246.61 million, Vodafone Idea (VI) with 123.58 million, BSNL with 25.40 million and Atria Convergence with 2.15 million subscribers. 


● Let's talk about the wired Broadband service providers. Jio Infocomm again tops the list with 8.92 million, followed by Bharti Airtel with 6.40 million, BSNL with 3.6 million, Hathway cable and Datacom with 1.12 million. 


● On the other hand, if we talk about the wireless Broadband service operators, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is leading with 436.3 million, Bharti Airtel 240.21 million, Vodafone Idea (VI) 123.58 million and BSNL 21.79 million. 


All the facts and stats above follow the latest report released by TRAI on 31 May 2023.


Jio and Airtel, Continue to Shine!!


If you look at all the reports by TRAI 2023, Jio and Airtel have shown a continuous surge in their subscriber base. The subscriber base is experiencing rapid monthly growth, leading to neck-to-neck competition between India's two prominent telecom giants. Despite facing several challenges, both companies have maintained a good market position by catering for the customers' needs through innovative and eye-catching offers, brilliant network coverage and the enthusiasm to deliver the best telecom services across the country. 



What sets Jio Apart?



Jio continues to consolidate its position as the largest telecom operator in India. As per the reports, Jio outpaced its arch-rival Bharti Airtel in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2023. The revenue market share of Jio jumped to 41.7% between Jan-May 2023, while Bharti Airtel remains unchanged at 36.5%. Whereas the third in the race, VI lost its revenue market share to 16.6%. Jio added several new subscribers in the past few months, continuing its exceptional success story. Also, the introduction of Jio 5g helped Jio achieve several milestones to become the leading telecom industry in India. The company's unique approach to providing cost-effective plans, affordable services, and seamless digital experiences attracts millions of customers to join Jio. 


Airtel's Upsurge


At the time, Airtel used to be the market leader, and the emergence of Jio presented a challenge; however, Airtel managed to maintain its position and remained a strong competitor. In response to Jio's entry, Airtel introduced cost-effective data plans to efficiently address the evolving customer demands and ensure its continued presence in the market.


Moreover, Airtel is successfully expanding its wireless subscriber base to meet the needs of the new generation. As per recent reports, Airtel added 1.3 million new wireless subscribers, contributing to an impressive 32.7% share of the total market. These figures show Airtel'sAirtel's approach to customer-centric initiatives, providing high-quality services, and adapting to the dynamic telecommunications landscape. As Airtel continues to evolve, it may outperform Jio in the near future. 


What led to the downfall of VI?


VI is a merger of two major telecom operators - Vodafone India and Idea Cellular- in August 2018. It aimed to create a stronger entity in the Indian telecom market, but unfortunately, it didn't-didn't work as expected. Vi is the third in the race after Jio and Airtel, its policies, offers, and data plans are similar to the other two but failed to meet the customers' needs. Vi's subscribers continuously decline, with even 4g users shifting to other network providers. Vi lost more than 28 lakh subscribers, as per the latest report by TRAI. This is for the 26th consecutive time that the company is facing huge losses despite being a collaboration of two reputed telecom companies. 


What we at Prune think 


The rapidly expanding telecom industry in India holds the potential for dynamic changes in the future. While Jio currently leads the market, the landscape remains uncertain, and who knows, Vi may adopt strategic policies that could position it as a significant revenue shareholder over time. There are also chances some new player enters the market with new strategies, unique approaches to challenge the existing market leaders. 


Jio and Airtel are in a fierce rivalry to become the market leader. Both offer similar data plans and have similar target audiences. Want to know more about JIO vs Airtel plans? Click here