Reliance Jio Reaches 355Mn Subscribers; Close to Becoming Biggest Carrier in India

Reliance Jio gets $5.7 billion investment from Facebook

At its Q3 earnings calls on Friday, Reliance Jio announced a total subscriber base of 355.2 million, bringing it ever closer to the nation’s largest mobile carrier, Vodafone Idea. The number represents a net addition of 24 million users over the previous quarter, when the company reported a total subscriber base of 331 million. Reliance also claimed to have reached 340 million+ subscribers at its annual general meeting (AGM) back in August.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also published its own data on Friday, revealing the Mukesh Ambani-led company’s total customer base stood at 348.2 million at the end of August with the addition of 8.445 million users during the month. Bharti Airtel lost 561,000 customers over the same period, bringing its subscriber base down to 327.9 million, while Vodafone Idea had an exodus of 4.956 million subscribers, reducing its subscriber count to 375 million.

Jio also claimed that its subscriber churn rate was the lowest in the industry at 0.74 percent per month. However, its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) came in at Rs. 120 per customer, which is a shade lower than Rs. 122 during the previous quarter. The total wireless data traffic on the network increased to 12.02 billion GB, driven by average data consumption of 11.7GB per user per month. The total voice traffic was 812.62 billion minutes, with an average of 789 minutes per user per month.

While falling ARPUs remain a cause for concern across the industry, Jio’s latest decision to pass on the Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) to customers is being seen as a way to counter that problem. According to observers, it could be the first signal that tariffs have finally bottomed out and will go up in the coming months, although, users will be hoping that won’t be the case.

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