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Reliance Jio surpasses BSNL to become largest landline service provider in August

Reliance Jio surpasses BSNL to become largest landline service provider in August_50.1

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio became the largest landline service provider in the country for the first time, in August. With 7.35 million landline connections as on August 31, Reliance Jio beat state-owned telecom operator and hitherto market leader BSNL’s 7.13 million connections, according to the latest data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Third-placed MTNL provided 2.6 million connections.

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The development marks a watershed moment in India’s telecom history since fixed-line or landline connections formed the final segment where a state-owned operator was in the top spot. Reliance Jio had been looking to make inroads into the segment over the past few years and launched Jio Fibre in 2019, which included both landline and fibre-based broadband services.

What is TRAI saying?

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had earlier pointed out the declining number of landline connections in the country as a cause for concern since the same network is also used to deliver fixed-line broadband services. Largely dominated by BSNL and MTNL, the number of landline connections declined from 36.76 million in 2010 to 20.58 million in 2020.

Key points:

  • The number of landline connections rose to 25.97 million in August (according to Trai’s data released on Tuesday), from 25.62 million in July). This has been attributed to better connection plans, the reopening of offices after the pandemic, and more importantly, higher uptake of landline-based broadband connections.
  • However, of total 1.17 billion telecom connections in the country, less than 2 per cent are currently landlines. BSNL and MTNL together held 37.4 per cent of the landline market share as on August 31. Jio still leads the wireless segment
  • Reliance Jio cemented its lead in the wireless segment, gaining 3.2 million mobile-phone subscribers in August. Jio’s onboarding of new users gained pace over the three months until August — with 2.9 million new users in July, and 0.4 million new subscribers in June.
  • Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel added 0.3 million subscribers in August. It had added 0.5 million and 0.7 million subscribers in July and June, respectively, Trai data showed. Third-placed Vodafone Idea continued to lose subscribers: 1.9 million in August against 1.5 million in July.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • TRAI Founded: 20 February 1997;
  • TRAI Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • TRAI Chairperson: Ram Sewak Sharma;
  • TRAI Secretary: Sunil K. Gupta.

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