Leading telecom majors Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular saw their market shares shrinking in 2016, giving way to aggressive newcomer Reliance Jio that ended the year with 6.4 per cent market share, as per data by telecom regulator TRAI. According to the yearly telecom services performance indicator report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Bharti Airtel saw its market share dip to 23.58 per cent at the end of December 2016 from 24.07 per cent in the previous year.
Interestingly, the loss of market share came even as the country’s largest operator saw its subscriber base swell by close to 9.3 per cent. It added 22.56 million new users during 2016. Vodafone added 11.09 million new users during 2016, but saw its market share slip to 18.16 per cent from 19.15 per cent in December 2015.
Reliance Jio, which began its commercial operations in early September 2016 with free voice and data offerings, ended the year with 6.4 per cent market share and 72.16 million subscribers. Idea Cellular, had a market share of about 16.9 per cent with a base of 190.52 million customers as on December 2016. This is a tad lower than 17.01 per cent market share that the Mumbai based operator had in 2015.
India’s wireless subscriber base increased to 1,127 million at the end of December 2016, from 1,010 million at the end of December 2015, a growth of 11.52 per cent. “During the year 2016, net addition of 116.48 million wireless subscribers was recorded,” the TRAI report said.