Reliance Jio lost over 9 million subscribers in January, but that is a good thing – Here’s why

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) telecom subscriber data for the month of January 2021 was another month of record subscriber loss for Mukesh Ambani’s Jio.
  • The Ambani-led telco lost over 9 million subscribers, making it its third biggest subscriber loss so far.
  • Airtel was the only telco to gain subscribers, although Vodafone Idea’s decline slowed down significantly this time.

Reliance Jio is cutting down the flab before it embarks once again on its path to cross the magical 500 million subscriber number. The Mukesh Ambani-led telco opened 2022 with its third biggest subscriber loss in January, shedding over 9 million subscribers.

This comes after Jio lost 13 million subscribers in the previous month.

In comparison, Airtel posted a net addition of over 0.7 million subscribers. Vodafone Idea also showed an improvement, slowing down its monthly loss by nearly a third to 0.4 million.

Jio reported its third largest subscriber loss this monthTRAI / Business Insider India / Flourish

As a result, the overall number of mobile subscribers in India declined to 1,169 million in January 2022, down from 1,178 million in December 2021.

As of 10 am, on March 31, shares of Jio’s parent company, Reliance Industries, were down by 0.7%, while Airtel was up 0.2% and Vodafone Idea was up by over 2%.

How is the third biggest subscriber loss a good news for Reliance Jio?

But this is still a net positive for Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom company. How do you ask?

The reasoning is simple – Jio is actively weeding out dormant or non-paying subscribers from its network.

This is a result of dormant subscribers being knocked out of the network, which is how Jio’s active subscriber market share has continuously improved in the past five months, even as it lost over 37 million subscribers while Airtel added over 2 million in the same period.

Reliance Jio lost over 9 million subscribers in January, but that is a good thing – Here's why
Active subscriber market shareTRAI / Business Insider India / Flourish


Another metric to consider is Jio’s active subscriber rate – the number of users with an active subscription. It has crossed 90% for the first time in the telco’s history.

For a long time, Jio’s active subscriber rate was under 80%, but it crossed this threshold for the first time in December 2021.

Reliance Jio lost over 9 million subscribers in January, but that is a good thing – Here's why
Airtel leads in active subscriber rate, with Jio at the second placeTRAI / Business Insider India / Flourish

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