Reliance Jio, the newest entrant in the telecom sector, has pipped Bharti Airtel to become the second-largest mobile operator with 32.29 crore subscribers in May, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday.
The move assumes significance as Reliance Jio stormed into the highly-competitive telecom sector in September 2016 with its disruptive voice and data offerings, while Bharti Airtel had launched its services way back in 1995.
Vodafone Idea — born last year from the merger of older operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — continues to be the largest operator with 38.75 crore consumers.
The fall in subscription numbers of few telecom operators continued in May 2019. The largest subscription base holding telecom company Vodafone Idea had 1.89 lakh numbers followed by Tata Tele with 71,139 and Bharti Airtel with 26,432 in the month.
Together, the three telecom companies lost over 2.87 lakh numbers compared with their April 2019 subscription numbers.
Overall, the number of telecom subscribers fell by 438,655 to 116.18 crore in May. Jio added 81.8 lakh numbers and BSNL added 2,125. On the other hand, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Tele lost 56.97 lakh, 15.08 lakh, and 14.26 lakh respectively.