Troubled Vodafone Idea continued to lose mobile subscribers in June, ceding fresh ground to rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel which added 54.6 lakh and 38.1 lakh customers, respectively, in the fiercely-competitive Indian telecom market, according to monthly data by TRAI.
Vodafone Idea lost about 42.8 lakh subscribers during June, as its user base shrunk to 27.3 crore, compounding the woes of the debt-laden telco which is struggling to stay afloat.
According to telecom subscription data for the month of June released by sector regulator TRAI, Reliance Jio cemented it lead, gaining 54.6 lakh users. Its mobile subscriber base swelled to 43.6 crore in June.
The Mukesh Ambani led telecom operator also led the tally of subscriber net additions in wireline, onboarding 1.87 lakh new users in that category.
Bharti Airtel added 38.1 lakh wireless subscribers in June, pushing up its mobile user base to 35.2 crore.
Overall, the number of telephone subscribers in India increased to 120.2 crore at the end of June 2021, a monthly growth rate of 0.34 per cent.
Urban telephone subscription was up, but the rural subscriptions dipped marginally in June.
"As per the reports received from 440 operators in the month of June, 2021, the number of broadband subscribers increased from 780.27 million (about 78 crore) at the end of May-21 to 792.78 million (about 79.2 crore) at the end of June-21 with a monthly growth rate of 1.60 per cent," the data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed.
The top five service providers constituted 98.7 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of June.
"These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (439.91 million), Bharti Airtel (197.10 million), Vodafone Idea (121.42 million), BSNL (22.69 million) and Atria Convergence (1.91 million)," TRAI said.
TRAI''s subscriber count score card for June, comes amid an existential struggle of mobile operator Vodafone Idea in a three private player market.
Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla recently stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, within two months of offering to hand over Aditya Birla Group''s stake in the telco over to the government, in a bid to avert a crisis for the telecom company.
As per the Q1 report card released by the telco, the total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) as of June 30, 2021 of VIL stood at Rs 1,91,590 crore, comprising of deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,06,010 crore and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability of Rs 62,180 crore that are due to the government.