Reliance Jio added 7.2 lakh users in September 2022, while Bharti Airtel added 4.1 lakh users, the monthly data released by telecom industry regulator Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) shows. The loss-making Vodafone Idea continues to bleed, with September subscriber losses at a whopping 40.1 lakh. State-owned telcos BSNL and MTNL lost 7.8 lakh and 7,490 users, respectively.

In terms of monthly growth rate, Jio's user base surged by 0.17% in September, followed by Bharti Airtel at 0.11%. Vodafone Idea saw monthly degrowth of 1.58% in its wireless subscribers base.

Except for Rajasthan, Mumbai, Kerala, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, U.P.(W), Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, U.P.(E), Madhya Pradesh and Punjab service areas, all other service areas showed growth rates in wireless subscribers in September.

The September numbers take the overall user base of market leader Reliance Jio to 41.9 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel at 36.4 crore and Vodafone Idea at 24.9 crore. The total wireless subscriber base across the country stood at 114.5 crore as of September 2022.

Of these, 101.3 crore were active on the date of peak VLR (Visitor Location Register) in September, shows the Trai data. Bharti Airtel had the maximum proportion (98.56%) of its active wireless subscribers against total wireless subscribers on the peak VLR date in September 2022, while MTNL had the minimum at 22.46%.

The total wireless subscribers, however, decreased on a MoM basis, from 114.9 crore as of August to 114.5 crore as of September, a 0.32% decline. Though wireless subscriptions in urban areas increased by 0.01% in urban areas, they dipped by 0.71% in rural areas. The wireless teledensity also decreased from 83.27% as of August to 82.94% in September-end.

As on September 30, 2022, the private players held 90.21% wireless market share, while state-owned BSNL and MTNL had a collective market share of only 9.79%.

Overall, the wireline subscribers increased from 2.5 crore in August to 2.6 crore in September, with the highest additions of over 2.9 lakh by Reliance Jio, followed by over 2 lakh by Bharti Airtel. The total broadband subscribers increased from 81.3 crore in August to 81.6 crore in September, a monthly growth rate of 0.28%.

Jio topped the chart with the total broadband subscribers at 42.6 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel at 22.5 crore, Vodafone Idea at 12.3 crore, BSNL at 2.5 crore and Atria Convergence (21.4 lakh).

Reliance Jio last week became the first telco to launch 5G across the Delhi-NCR. The 5G network will be available across Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad, amongst others. The company plans for a countrywide rollout of ultra-fats 5G services by the 2023-end, with an investment of ₹2 lakh crore.

Bharti Airtel promoter Bharti Telecom, meanwhile, plans to raise up to ₹7,000 crore through the bond market, which will be used to refinance or repay its debt and meet expenses related to the issue. The telecommunication company is reportedly looking to raise the fund through shorter-tenor bonds in three tranches and has invited bids from investors.

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