Reliance Jio is the fastest growing telecom operator in India, with 411.23 million total broadband subscribers as of January 2022. The wireless segment accounted for over 98.8% of the total.
However, the telecom operator led by Mukesh Ambani began 2022 with a loss of approximately 9.33 million subscribers. This is the second consecutive month when Jio has seen a drop in its subscriber base. Surprisingly, in December 2021, the telco lost a whopping 13 million wireless subscribers.
When compared to its arch-rival Airtel began its new year with a net addition of 0.714 million subscribers in the wireless segment. Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, lost approximately 0.39 million and 1.61 million subscribers in January 2022 and December 2021, respectively.
Following the release of the TRAI monthly telecom subscription data report on March 30th, the shares of Reliance Industries, Jio’s parent company, were down 0.7 percent, while Airtel and Vodafone Idea shares were up 0.2 percent and over 2 percent, respectively.
So, what could be the reason for Jio’s subscriber loss in less than a year? Let’s find out!
Jio subscribers’ loss: A strategic move!
This third-biggest subscribers loss in just five months can be seen as a strategic move taken by Reliance.
The company is actively removing dormant or non-paying subscribers from its network. As a result, Jio’s active subscriber rate has steadily increased over the last five months, despite the fact that it has lost more than 37 million subscribers.
It is important to note that Jio’s active subscriber rate crossed 90% for the first time in January 2022 since its launch.
Out of the total 1,145.24 million wireless subscribers in India, a whopping 1,006.57 million wireless subscribers were active on the date of peak VLR in January 2022. Active wireless subscribers (also known as VLR subscribers) accounted for about 87.89 percent of the total wireless subscriber base.
In January 2022, approximately 368.53 million of Jio’s total 406.39 million wireless subscribers were active, accounting for 90.68 percent.
Jio active subscriber rate exceeded 80% for the first time in September 2021, with 355.37 active wireless subscribers in India. Surprisingly, the telecom operator witnessed net addition of 4.74 million active subscribers on its platform despite losing over 19 million total wireless subscribers.