Reliance Jio’s launch in September made the Indian telecom market did what it had never done in its history. When the country felt the market is saturated and there is no scope for more subscriber additions, Reliance Jio created history with the highest net subscriber addition in any single month.
There was a time in the Indian telecom space when the country used to add 15 to 20 million customers every month and it had become a global talk point then. Telecom companies world over sat up and took notice of a market that has the potential to be the largest market for telecom products and solutions.
The phenomenon got a new definition since Jio’s entry to the Indian telecom space.
The Mukesh Ambani-led 4G operator helped India add an unbelievable 28.7 million new subscribers in the Month of October – just a month after Jio announced its free offer. Though this may not have added much to the India’s total tally of customers but it certainly shows that there still lies a potential market that can be tapped if lucrative and value for money services are offered.
Subscriber Addition Since Jio Launch
Reliance Jio opened its services for public in the first week of September, and that month itself saw 20.84 million subscribers added to India’s telecom network and needless to say, almost all of them joined Jio.
The next month, October, was the record breaking month of Indian telecom history. In October, 2016, a total of 28.7 million mobile subscribers were added. In other way, it can be said, the entire population of Malaysia became mobile in a single month!
The previous record was made in November 2010 when India had added 22.87 million customers a single month.
And the momentum went on till February. The new 4G operator helped the country added 135.15 million customers in just six months -from September to February – adding average of 22.5 million customers every single month!
Contrast that to six months prior to Jio’s launch.
Since the beginning of the financial year, from April to August 2016, untill Jio was available, the net subscriber addition was in negative. In that 5 months, India’s mobile subscription was degrowing and a total of -5.46 million customers were offloaded from their telecom network.
However, this does not mean, these over 5 million customers disconnected their services completely. Most, rather, all of them possessed dual connections and they might have unsubscribed to one of their operator’s services.
So far so good. Jio might have acquired 120 million new subscribers in this short period but acquiring customers is not biggest challenge- retaining them is. So far Jio’s services were free, hence user addition was not the headache. When incumbents have started opening up their wallets to match the free offerings provided by Jio, and started adding value to their new offerings, the 4G operator may face a herculean task in retaining the 100+ million customers it has snatched from other telcos.