Bharti Airtel published subscriber figures for the opening three months of 2019, which showed it fell to third-place behind Reliance Jio following a 7.1 per cent year-on-year decline.
The operator ended March (it’s fiscal Q4) with 282.6 million subscribers compared with 307 million for Jio and 334 million for market leader Vodafone Idea.
However, Airtel pointed to a stabilisation in subscriber numbers during the quarter, with the figure down a marginal 0.6 per cent sequentially.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) at Airtel, said the year ended on a positive note, with ARPU increasing to INR123 ($1.77), “though still not at sustainable levels for the industry”. The operator said data usage grew 140 per cent year-on-year.
Jio previously said it added 120 million subs during the fiscal year to end-March, while Vodafone Idea reported it lost 53.2 million as low-ARPU users migrated from multiple to single SIMs.
Figures from GSMA Intelligence (GSMAi) placed Vodafone Idea’s market share at 32 per cent at end-March, followed by Jio (30 per cent) and Airtel (25 per cent). While GSMAi’s subscriber figures (not including IoT connections) match those reported by Jio, they are lower than the numbers reported by Vodafone Idea and Airtel.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back