Bharti Airtel has added a record 12 million 4G subscribers during the October-November 2019 period, as the company looks to strengthen its position in this space where competitor Reliance Jio is the leader.
According to data submitted by Bharti Airtel to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the company added 7 million 4G subscribers in November and 5 million subscribers in October. This represents a five-fold jump over the monthly average of around 1.5 million in the past few months.
Trai is yet to publish the data for October and November. As per Trai’s September data, Airtel had added 1.12 million 4G subscribers.
The 4G subscriber additions have enabled Airtel narrow the gap with Reliance Jio, which has been adding 8-9 million 4G subscribers every month. Vodafone Idea is lagging behind in the 4G segment. As per Trai’s September data, Reliance Jio had 355.22 million 4G subscribers followed by Airtel with 125.42 million and Vodafone Idea at 112.17 million. Vodafone Idea, in fact, lost 4G subscribers in March and April. The company has been adding 4G subscribers after that but the number is much lower compared to Airtel and Reliance Jio.
According to an Airtel executive, the record net additions of 4G subscribers underlines its strong performance driven by customer preference for its network.
The executive further said, “We are seeing a clear customer preference for our network and product propositions like Airtel Thanks. We are confident of exiting the quarter with record net 4G subs adds.”
Airtel has a pan-India 4G network and plans to shut down its 3G network by March next year. The company will redeploy the spectrum for 4G services, which is expected to further boost the 4G capacity. Airtel has invested close to Rs. 50,000 crore in the last two financial years to ramp up 4G networks. It has also recently rolled out voice over wifi services starting with Delhi NCR.
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Source: Financial Express