Telecom operator Reliance Jio has taken a lead over Bharti Airtel to become the country's second-largest fixed-line service provider in February 2022, according to data published by the sector regulator Trai.
Fixed-line or wireline telecommunication refers to telephone and broadband internet services provided through a network of cables.
Reliance Jio wireline subscriber base reached over 58.85 lakh while Bharti Airtel recorded a customer base of more than 57.66 lakh in February, according to a subscriber report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released on Tuesday.
Reliance Jio led the wireline telephony growth by adding 2.44 lakh customers in February. Bharti Airtel came second in the segment by adding 91,243 new users.
Vodafone Idea added 24,948 customers, Quadrant 18,622 and Tata Teleservices 3,772. Reliance Jio is now behind only BSNL which has over 75.76 lakh wireline customers.
The government-owned BSNL and MTNL, which jointly have a 49.5 per cent share in the segment, lost 49,074 and 21,900 fixed-line customers, respectively.
The growth trend in the wireline subscriber base, which picked up after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, is gaining momentum with private telecom operators driving the growth in the segment.
Since January 2021, BSNL's market share has come down from 34.64 per cent to 30.9 per cent in February. The share of MTNL dropped to 11.05 per cent in February 2022 from 14.65 per cent in January 2021.
On the other hand, private players Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have continuously gained market share.
Reliance Jio has been aggressive in the segment and its share increased to 24 per cent from 14.7 per cent between January 2021 to February 2022.
To strengthen its position in the segment, the company has waived entry fee and installation charges for new customers opting for postpaid Jio Fiber connections.
The company has also introduced monthly plans for Jio Fiber postpaid customers and given an option to subscribers of low-value plans to pay Rs 100 for availing access to six entertainment apps.
Bharti Airtel share increased marginally to 23.52 per cent from 23.12 during the same period.
Overall, the wireline subscribers base in the country reached 2.45 crore at the end of February 2022 from 2 crore in January 2021, according to the Trai data.