Reliance Jio has begun to witness a slowdown in active subscriber additions. For the first time since September, when Jio stormed into the market, Bharti Airtel has added more active subscribers than Jio.
As per reports by Goldman Sachs and ICICI Securities, Jio added 0.4 million active subscribers in April as compared to 2.6 million by Airtel. During the September-October period of last year Jio was adding around 16 million subscribers a month.
However, in terms of net additions, Jio continues to add maximum subscribers. It added 3.87 million subscribers in April followed by 2.85 million by Airtel, 0.81 million by BSNL, 0.75 million by Vodafone and 0.68 million by Idea. All other operators lost subscribers on net basis in April.
Jio has witnessed a deceleration in its active subscribers in fourth straight month and since the company has started to charge its users from April, the deceleration is likely to continue.
However, given the scale of Jio’s launch and subsequent additions, the Mukesh Ambani-owned company continues to have the largest share of 34 per cent in the wireless broadband market in April, significantly ahead of the Airtel’s 22 per cent.
Goldman Sachs and ICICI Securities have analysed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s April data. Goldman Sachs said 71.2 per cent of Jio subscribers were active, which is in sharp contrast to Airtel`s 97.1 per cent during the month. Although Jio has a subscriber base of 112 million, its active subscribers stood at 80 million. “We believe Jio is likely to make its next big push on subscriber additions when it launches a 4G feature phone to target mid-to-low end of the subscriber base, but until then subscriber additions are likely to remain subdued,” Goldman Sachs said.
“Despite marginal pricing, Jio’s active subscribers as percentage of total subscribers is constantly falling with only 71 per cent in April, which is disappointing and particularly so in Mumbai and Kolkata circles where it is just 63.1 per cent and 62.8 per cent,” ICICI Securities said.