Telecom Subscribers and Operator Wise Market Share of Telecom Companies in India (2020)

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

The Indian Telecom market is dominated by 3 Operators – Reliance JIO, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea. These three Telecom operators own 89.6% of the total subscriber market share as of March 2020.

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 March 2020, according to which Vodafone-Idea is now the 3rd largest player behind 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 (March 2020)

Telecom Market Share India 2020
Telecom Market Share India 2020
Operators Subscribers in Millions Market Share (Mar’20)
JIO 387.5 33.6%
Airtel 327.8 28.4%
Vodafone-Idea 319.1 27.6%
BSNL 119.7 10.4%
Total 1154.1 100.0%

Reliance JIO (owned by Mr. Mukesh Ambani) is the largest telecom company with a 33.6% subscriber market share and 387.5 million subscribers.

Bharti Airtel, owned by Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal is the second largest telecom company in India with a 28.4% market share and 327 Million subscribers.

Vodafone-idea is the third biggest Telecom company in India with 319.1 million subscribers and has a 27.6% Telecom subscriber market share. Vodafone-Idea is doing badly and is on the verge of collapse in the absence of relief from the government.

Telecom Subscriber Growth/Decline Operator Wise Trend – 2018-2020

Telecom Subscribers Operator Wise - Mar 2020
Telecom Subscribers Operator Wise – Mar 2020

Telecom Subscribers in India

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

Operators Subscriber (Mn) Apr’18 Subscriber (Mn) Apr ’19 Subscriber (Mn) Sept ’19 Subscriber (Mn) Mar ’20 Net Additions
Airtel 308.69 321.18 325.5 327.8 2.3
Vodafone Idea 438.79 393.25 372.2 319.1 -53.1
Jio 196.19 314.8 355.22 387.5 32.28
BSNL 112.38 115.89 116.9 119.7 2.8
Total Base 1056.05 1145.12 1169.82 1157.7 2.3

Net Additions = Subs (March 20) – Subs (Sept’19).

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

  • Vodafone and Idea have lost more than 53 million subscribers in the last 6 months and 119 Million subs in the last 2 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 in the last 2 years. However, there is a 2.3 Mn subs addition in the last 6 months.
  • Reliance Jio is an on spree and has added over 191 Million Subscribers in the last 2 years and 32.28 Mn in the last 6 months.
  • It may look odd but BSNL is growing despite unprecedented competition from rivals.

Subscriber Market Share 2020 Vs 2018

  • The Biggest drop in market share is for Idea and Vodafone from 39% to 27.6%.
  • Reliance Jio is the biggest gainer with a 33.6% share and it comes from poaching subs from Voda-Idea, Airtel, and other operators such as Aircel, Telenor, Tata that were present in 2018 but not anymore.
Operators Telecom Market Share’18 Telecom Market Share ’19 Telecom Market Share ’19 % Chg
Airtel 27.40% 29.80% 28.4% 1.00%
Vodafone Idea 39.00% 29.50% 27.6% -11.35%
Jio 17.40% 30.50% 33.6% 16.18%
BSNL 10.00% 10.10% 10.4% 0.37%
Total Base 100.00% 100.00% 100.0% 0.00%

Stats – Indian Telecom (Mobile and Broadband Users)

  • Total Subscribers (Mobile+ Broadband) = 1177.97Mn or 118 Crores
  • Total Mobile Users in India (March 2020) = 1157.57 Mn
  • Broadband Users in India (March 2020) – 20.22 Mn
  • Urban Subscribers = 656 Mn
  • Rural Subscribers = 521 Mn
  • Overall Tele-Density in India = 87.37%

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 – 2020 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.


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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Author: 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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