Bharti Airtel pipped Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited in new mobile subscriber additions in September 2020, after a gap of four years, according to data released by the Telecom Regulator Authority of India. Bharti Airtel continued to lead the expansion in an industry-wide subscriber base in September 2020. Even though both Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and Bharti Airtel are the main drivers of growth in the industry subscriber base, the pace at which Bharti Airtel made additions in September remained higher than Reliance Jio. According to a recent report by India Ratings and Research, Bharti Airtel subscriber additions were more than 3.8 million in September, whereas Reliance Jio's figures were a little above 1.5 million for the month.
Bharti Airtel's active subscriber addition also grew by 3.8 million subscribers in September 2020 as against the growth of 0.7 million in the subscribers for Reliance Jio. Vodafone Idea Limited registered a and a dip of 3.5 million subscribers. The industry-wide subscriber base continued to grow by 0.7 million subscribers in September 2020. The subscriber base has kept growing since July 2020, indicating a recovery after the COVID-19 lockdown, when the subscriber base dipped during the March-June period.
According to the report, the number of broadband subscribers increased to 61.4 per cent of the overall wireless subscriber base in September 2020 from 60.4 per cent in August 2020 and 46.9 per cent in March 2019. In September 2020, the number of broadband subscribers grew by 9.5 million, led by Bharti Airtel's over seven million subscribers, followed by Reliance Jio's over 1.7 million subscribers.
However, Reliance continues to be the largest player in the national telecom industry in terms of subscriber market share and revenue market share. Reliance Jio held subscriber market share of 35.2 per cent in September 2020 and revenue market share of 38.2 per cent in the second quarter of this financial year.