Telecom stocks such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries Ltd and Vodafone Idea were in focus today after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) released data on Wednesday. Bharti Airtel share price surged 3 per cent to rs 522.95 apiece in early deals on BSE, as it reported the highest number of subscriber additions for the second straight month in October. The telecom giant had reclaimed the leadership position in terms of subscriber addition after a four-year gap. On the other hand, Vodafone Idea share price fell 3.3 per cent to Rs 10.21 apiece, after it reported a loss of subscriber base. VIL lost the maximum mobile customers during the month.
Pavitra Shetty, Independent Analyst/ Co-Founder and Trainer, Tips2Trade, told The Outlooker Online that the latest data from TRAI is a strong indication that Bharti Airtel is slowly accumulating its subscriber base and giving stiff competition to Reliance Jio. Whereas Vodafone Idea continues to lag behind the game. “Technically, Bharti Airtel looks strong and could reach Rs 540-550 very soon. 508 will act as strong support for the buyers,” she said.
According to the research and brokerage firm Motilal Oswal Financial Services, the trend seen in the last three months sustained as Bharti Airtel continued to lead in gross, active, and 4G subscriber additions, piping Reliance Jio and eating into Vodafone Idea’s share. The gross subscribers increased by 3.2 million sequentially to 1.15 billion in October. Active subscribers rose by 2.5 million to 961 million in October, which is 28 million below its March 2020 peak, highlighting subscriber consolidation in the sector.
On the other hand, in terms of new mobile customers, Airtel was followed by RIL’s telecom arm Reliance Jio, which added 2.2 million customers taking its total subscriber base to 406.35 million during the reported month. According to the TRAI data, Reliance Jio is the top mobile operator with a subscriber base of 406.36 million, followed by Airtel, which has 330.28 million customers in October. While Vodafone Idea comes third with 292.83 million subscriber base, followed by BSNL with 118.88 million customers.
Reliance Jio topped in terms of wireless broadband users as its base stood at 406.36 million followed by Bharti at 167.56 million, and VIL at 120.49 million. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) share price jumped 1.3 per cent to Rs 1,969.90 apiece on BSE. In comparison, S&P BSE Sensex was trading 357 points or 0.77 per cent higher at 46,801 level.
Along with VIL, BSNL, MTNL and Reliance Communications reported a loss of subscriber base in October. BSNL lost 10,208 customers, MTNL 7,307 customers and Reliance Communications lost 1,488 mobile customers. According to TRAI data, the overall telecom subscriber base in India, however, increased to 1,171.8 million in October from 1,168.66 million in September 2020.