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Jio, BSNL Added Users in June; Vodafone-Idea Still in Steep Decline: TRAI Data

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The latest TRAI subscribers report affirms company disclosures that put Reliance Jio in the lead in the Indian telecom space.

Reliance Jio added a gross total of 8.27 million users to its network in June 2019, reaching market share of 28.42 percent at the end of June 30, 2019, as per data published in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s monthly subscriptions data sheet for the aforementioned month. State-run operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which has been seeing a marginal revival of fortune with the release of competitively priced plans, became the only other operator to add subscribers in the month, adding 266,000 users to its network to stand at 9.98 percent market share of the entire Indian telecom industry.

Despite high churn rates (ratio of users leaving network to those joining in), Bharti Airtel appears to have arrested some of its momentum in the downward slide. However, it still lost over 29,000 subscribers from its network, with market share remaining largely static at 27.49 percent in June 2019. As has been the trend for some time now, the biggest loser of the month was Vodafone-Idea, which saw 4.15 million users unsubscribe from its network, collectively bringing down the operator's market share to 32.9 percent. This is further expected to decline, as has been said in both Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio's earnings call from earlier this month.

Vodafone-Idea has been on the decline path for a while now, despite releasing plans with competitive pricing and offering bundled content such as complimentary Amazon Prime subscriptions. Despite that, it has finally had to switch focus to rescuing its revenue by getting rid of low ARPU (average revenue per user) customers. Having conceded the lead to Reliance Jio, it remains to be seen how Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea react in the near future, as the Indian telecom space continues to grow at a slow but steady and certain pace.

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