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Telecom Subscribers and Operator Wise Market Share of Telecom Companies in India ’19

Let’s check out the number of Telecom Subscribers in India and the market share of top telecom companies along with subscriber count.

The Indian Telecom market is dominated by 3 Operators – Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance JIO. These three Telecom operators own 89.9% of the total subscriber market share as of August 2019.

The Government-owned BSNL is the only other player present in the market with a significant 10.1% share. Notably, the TRAI data is available till September 2019, according to which Vodafone-Idea is the largest player followed by Airtel and JIO respectively.

However, based on the reported numbers by the companies Reliance JIO is number 1, followed by Airtel and then Vodafone-Idea.

Operator Wise Market Share Telcom Companies (October 2019)

OperatorsSubscribers in MillionsMarket Share (Oct’19)

Reliance JIO (owned by Mr. Mukesh Ambani) is the largest telecom company with 30.5% subscriber market share and 331.1 million subscribers.

Bharti Airtel, owned by Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal is the second largest telecom company in India with a 29.8% market share and 322 Million subscribers.

Vodafone-idea is the third biggest Telecom company in India with 320 million subscribers and has a 29.5% Telecom subscriber market share. Vodafone-Idea is doing badly and is on the verge of collapse in the absence of relief from the government.

Subscriber Growth/Decline Operator Wise Trend – 2018/19

Subscribers Growth and Decline 

The below table is based on the reported Subscriber Count by TRAI.

Note*- The TRAI numbers are a bit delayed and this why we will see that Vodafone Idea is reported as No.1. TRAI shares the report quarterly and updated report will be available in January 2020.

OperatorsSubscriber (Mn) Apr’18Subscriber (Mn) Apr ’19Subscriber (Mn) Sept ’19Net Additions
Vodafone Idea438.79393.25372.2-66.59
Total Base1056.051145.121169.8113.7

The numbers in the above table speak louder than the words. Nevertheless, here are some key observations.

  • Vodafone and Idea have lost more than 66 million subscribers in the last 1.5 years.
  • Bharti Airtel has been able to increase the subscriber base but they also acquired Aircel which had close to 74 Million Subscribers. Considering that Bharti has also lost close to 50 Million Subscribers.
  • Reliance Jio is an on spree and has added over 159 Million Subscribers in the last 1.5 years.
  • It may look odd but BSNL is growing despite unprecedented competition from rivals.

Subscriber Market Share 2019 Vs 2018

  • The Biggest drop in market share is for Idea and Vodafone from 39% to 29.5%.
  • Reliance Jio is the biggest gainer with a 30.5% share and it comes from poaching subs from Voda-Idea, Airtel and other operators such as Aircel, Telenor, Tata which were present in 2018 but not anymore.
OperatorsTelecom Market Share’18Telecom Market Share ’19% Chg
Vodafone Idea39.00%29.50%-9.50%
Total Base100.00%100.00%0.00%

The above data analysis shows how JIO has changed the Game of Indian Telecom and despite starting very late (2016) has been able to dwarf the rivals with aggressive data pricing.

Also, Read – Smartphone Market Share in India – 2019 Report

JIO Subscriber Growth Story in India

Update 05/July/2018 – At the Reliance AGM today, Mr. Mukesh Ambani Shared that Reliance JIO has crossed the 215 Million Subscriber mark and is almost at par with Idea Cellular.

It is a big milestone for the company and thanks to JIO, the data consumption in India has increased many folds since its inception.


Below is the Snapshot of how the Subscribers have increased for the last 12 months for the brand and the data consumption is nearly doubled from 125 Cr GB per month to 240 Crore GB per month.

Also, there is a stupendous growth in voice usage and Video Consumption in the Indian market. Also, JIO has announced the JIO Phone 2 and Jio Gigabit Fiber plans at the JIO AGM.


JIO Adds 8.8 Million Subscribers

To add insult to the injury, as per a recent TRAI report Reliance Jio added 8.8 million subscribers, whereas Airtel added only 1 lakh and Idea-Vodafone lost 6.5 million subscribers.

Jio currently has close to 280 million subscribers (24% subscriber market share) and every month the company is adding close to 8-9 million subscribers.

By the end of FY’19, Jio will easily have more than 300 million subscribers.

Things are looking positive for Jio at the moment and the company is also planning to revolutionize the home broadband segment with the JIO Gigafiber (read about plans and details).

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Kanuj Sharma
Full-Time Blogger & Entrepreneur, Tech Enthusiast. A decade of experience in Telecom (Engineer & MBA) Read My Story,  Connect On Twitter, Linked-In, Youtube


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