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General News Tata Tele outperforms Reliance Jio by adding close to 5 million new users
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KOLKATA: Reliance Jio Infocomm added 4.09 million customers in August, taking its market share past 11%, even as incumbents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular lost 0.2 million, 2.4 million and 2.89 million subscribers, respectively.

But the surprise performer of the month was Tata Teleservices, notching up maximum customer additions of 4.88 million, according to subscription data put out by sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday.

An industry analyst at a global brokerage attributed the unusual surge in Tata Tele's customer base in August to possible adjustment in subscriber reporting process before the sale of its wireless business to Bharti Airtel last month.

“The sharp surge in Tata Tele's customer adds in August could have been triggered by a one-off adjustment in the subscriber reporting process very close to the sale of the wireless business, especially as Trai data shows Tata Teleservices lost over 5 million customers between May-July alone,” the analyst said on condition of anonymity.

Newcomer Jio continued its steady climb in terms of market share, taking it to 11.19% in August, up from 10.83% in July, 10.39% in June and 9.94% in May.

By contrast, incumbents continue to struggle to retain customers amid fierce price competition. While market leader Bharti Airtel’s August market share was constant at 23.7%, Vodafone’s market share fell to 17.55% from 17.74% in July, and Idea’s slipped to 16.11% from 16.34% in July, according to data on Trai website.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) reported net customer additions of 709,484 in August.

Bharti Airtel continues to remain India’s biggest phone company with 281.04 million customers. Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio’s customer base has grown to nearly 132.68 million as of end August.

Visitor location register (VLR), a key metric reflecting the number of active subscribers on a mobile network, indicated that 97.18% of the users were active for Airtel, 94.09% for Vodafone, 103.42% for Idea and 75.44% for Jio.

Trai data showed the total base of phone subscribers fell marginally to 1,209.61 million in end-August from 1,210.71 million in end-July, reflecting a 0.09% dip.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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