Reliance Jio Lost Over 12 Million 4G Subscribers In December 2021, But Improved Its Average Revenue Per User: Latest TRAI Data

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Feb 18, 2022 02:29 PM +05:30 IST
Reliance Jio Lost Over 12 Million 4G Subscribers In December 2021, But Improved Its Average Revenue Per User: Latest TRAI DataCustomer at Reliance store for jio phone pre-booking at Connaught Place, on August 24, 2017 in New Delhi (Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • Data also showed that last year in December, Jio lost roughly 6 million consumers in rural India.

In December 2021, Reliance Jio Infocomm lost 12.9 million 4G subscribers, bringing its total user base to 415.71 million. This highlighted the telecom behemoth's major clean-up of low-paying customers which began in the second quarter of last fiscal and continued into the October-December period.

According to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 17 February 2022, Jio's drop in mobile customers has reduced India's mobile user base by a stunning 12.88 million to roughly 1.15 billion in December 2021.

On the other hand, Jio’s top competitor, Bharti Airtel added 0.47 million wireless users, bringing its total user base to 355.76 million, while Vodafone Idea lost 1.61 million, bringing its total user base to 265.51 million, highlighting its ongoing 4G operating challenges.

Jio recently reported an 8.5 million decline in customer base in the December quarter. This partially helped to enhance its average revenue per user (ARPU), which increased roughly 6 per cent sequentially to around Rs 152 in the fiscal third quarter.

However, experts have speculated that the significant reduction in Jio's user base could indicate that the JioPhone Next, the telco's low-cost 4G smartphone created in collaboration with American tech giant Google, hasn't helped the company build its client base. As reported, according to analysts, Airtel's client increases in December, despite all three telcos' pricing hikes in late November 2021, indicated that the company had an operational advantage over Jio and Vodafone Idea—both of which have seen significant customer losses.

As per TRAI’s data, Airtel and Vodafone Idea increased their customer market shares to 30.81 per cent (30.43 per cent) and 23 per cent (22.88 per cent) in December last year, respectively, while Jio's market share shrank to 36 per cent (36.71 per cent), owing to the latter's elimination of low-paying consumers.

The data clearly showed that last year in December, Jio lost roughly 6 million consumers in rural India. Bharti Airtel and Vi, on the other hand, lost fewer rural users, with 1.18 million and 0.97 million users, respectively. Jio's rural mobile subscriber base dropped to 179.93 million, while Airtel and Vi's numbers fell to 170.14 million and 134.32 million, respectively.

In terms of Visitor Location Register (VLR), in December, 98.01 per cent of Airtel's users were active, 86.42 per cent for Vodafone Idea, 87.64 per cent for Jio and 50.32 for BSNL, according to a key indicator representing the number of active subscribers on a mobile network.

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