Recently, in February, Bharti Airtel had reported having added the highest number of active subscribers for the third consecutive month. The telecom operator has been seen to have been maintaining its lead in putting in regularly paying users.
According to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Bharti Airtel had added about 3.7 million active subscribers, which is, nonetheless, lesser than the six-month average of about 4.2 million of the telecom operator.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio has been reported to have seen a continuous downfall in the number of active regularly paying subscribers. The telecom operator has been seeing a reduction in the number of active users for the second consecutive month. It was reported that about 0.16 million regularly paying active subscribers were lost by Reliance Jio in February.
Bharti Airtel in winning the Telecom battle
The preceding month, the percentage of active regularly paying users of Bharti Airtel has grown up by 1.1%, whereas the growth of Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea was reported to have fallen by about 0.05% and 0.1% respectively, as mentioned in the data collected from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
When we talk about the gross addition of the subscribers, we saw that in February, the telecom operator Reliance Jio had added about 4.27 million gross subscribers, which was 1.1 times higher than Bharti Airtel, surpassing Bharti Airtel after chasing the count for almost six months straight. The increase in the number of customers of Reliance Jio is also the highest since June 2020.
It has been reported that since October 2019, it was the first time that Vodafone Idea had added gross subscribers to its network, which helped the telecom operator gain about 0.65 million users. Also, it becomes to note that in January, the company made an error in reporting the increase in the userbase. The January data had shown that the company had gained about 1.7 million gross subscribers when in reality it had lost about 2.3 million subscribers.
In February, to give a gist of the data, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, and Bharti Airtel’s gross subscriber base had grown by0.2%, 1%, and 1.1% respectively.
Now when we talk about the situation of active subscribers in the Telecom Industry, the number of active subscribers continued to get added for the seventh month in a row in February even though the net additions were reported to get weakened for the third month straight.
The average active subscriber base of the telecom industry is about 84.09% with Bharti Airtel leading the charts having a proportion of active users of about 97.47%. Following Bharti Airtel is Vodafone Idea with active users proportion of 90.61% and Reliance Jio with active users proportion at 78.16%.
Now when we take into consideration the number of inactive subscribers, we see that the numbers had widened from September to November for Bharti Airtel, however, in February the user count remained quite stable. For Reliance Jio, the number had been narrowing for the past few months ut now it has been reported to have widened for the second month. For Vodafone Idea, the numbers were seen to have widened in February after having narrowed down in the past few months.
What is the reason behind this lead by Bharti Airtel?
As of May 4, 2021, the share price of Bharti Airtel was reported to be at Rs 551.45, jumping from Rs 517.3 on March 31, 2021. Meanwhile, the share price of Reliance Industries Ltd. was at about Rs 1,918 on May 4, dropping by 4.2% from Rs 2,003.1 on March 31.
One of the reasons for this downfall in the number of active users by Reliance and the drop in Reliance Industries Ltd‘s share price is the Lockdown. Majorly, Reliance was reported to have lost its userbase during lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Not only did Bharti Airtel has a huge number of users that are active subscribers, but also it has managed to add quite a few new subscribers in the second half of 2020.
Now when we talk about active users, Bharti Airtel has so many more active subscribers than Reliance Jio. Airtel has about 97% of its users that are active subscribers as compared to Reliance Jio which has about 79% of its users as active subscribers.
One of the major areas where Bharti Airtel is beating Reliance Jio is the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).
It was reported that as of March 2020, the ARPU of Bharti Airtel was about Rs 135 whereas the ARPU of Reliance Jio was Rs 130 (that is, having a difference of 5), as stated by a report given by Motilal Oswal, which is a brokerage firm.
Now, as of March 2021, the ARPU of Bharti Airtel was Rs 158 whereas the ARPU of Reliance Jio was reported to be around Rs 138, stating the difference to be Rs 20. This gap of Rs 20 shows the growth rate of both the companies to be increasing at an exponential rate.
One interesting thing to note here is that as of the report given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), it was said that Bharti Airtel had added about 25 million new subscribers during August 2020 and January 2021 whereas when we take a look at Reliance Jio, it has been able to add only 10 million new subscribers during the same given period.