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Vodafone, Idea Cellular Lose Users For The First Time Since Reliance Jio’s Launch

Vodafone India Ltd. and Idea Cellular Ltd. together lost subscribers in July, the first time since the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

India’s second and third largest telecom operators, who have agreed to merge, together lost 37 lakh subscribers in July, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Overall, the industry lost more than 5 lakh users during the months.

Reliance Jio increased its customer base by adding close to 50,000 users, taking the total to 12.9 crore. The Mukesh Ambani-led company disrupted the market by offering free services for six months, before it began charging its users since April.

The newest telecom operator accounts for 10.8 percent of all telecom users in India, a year after it launched services. The top three mobile services providers’ – Bharti Airtel Ltd., Vodafone India Ltd. and Idea Cellular Ltd. – combined user share fell by a fifth of a percentage point to 57.8 percent in July.

What, however, helped them was the addition of 60 lakh high-revenue broadband users. For Reliance Jio, every user is a broadband customer since it offers voice calls free.

. Read more on Business by BloombergQuint.