Airtel gained the highest number of subscribers due to better network quality by the end of 2020. Latest data from Opensignal, an independent global mobile analytics company, shows Airtel and Jio gained new subscribers by the end of 2020 but Vi (Vodafone Idea) lost subscribers to churn. Opensignal also stated that while Airtel continued to steadily gain subscribers throughout the year, Jio’s intake of new subscribers gradually flattened. Vi, on the other hand, was steadily losing subscribers from the beginning of last year.
Opensignal shared data for last year where it analysed the mobile experience of smartphone users who changed their network service provider (leavers) in 2020 and noted that Airtel and Jio steadily gained new users while Vi steadily lost users. The leavers were found to have a worse mobile experience before they switched subscribers. They also experienced lower 4G availability and spent less time connected to either a 3G or 4G mobile connection.
The data shows that Airtel steadily added subscribers till the end of 2020, gaining the highest proportion of users last year. While the number of new Jio subscribers also grew steadily till August 2020 alongside Airtel, it saw a decline in new subscribers from September onwards and this trend continued for the rest of the year. On the other hand, Vi was steadily losing subscribers due to churn throughout the year. Churn is essentially when subscribers discontinue their subscription to a service provider, in this case, due to worse network quality.
With Vi losing subscribers and Jio’s growth curve flattening, Airtel continued to gain subscribers due to churn. By the end of 2020, it had gained the most subscribers due to better network quality, which also goes in line with Telecom Regulator Authority of India’s (TRAI) data for December 2020. TRAI’s data shows Airtel added 4.05 million new wireless subscribers in December 2020 taking its total wireless subscriber base to 338.7 million as of December 31, 2020, though it is still lower than Jio’s wireless subscriber base.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)