India’s Reliance Jio surpasses China Mobile as world’s largest mobile operator

Mumbai: Reliance Jio, India’s leading telecom operator, has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing China Mobile to become the world’s largest mobile operator in data traffic consumption, according to media reports.

In the January-March quarter, the total data traffic on the Jio network reached 40.9 Exabytes, exceeding China Mobile’s 38 Exabytes, as reported by Moneycontrol citing data from global analytics firm Tefficient.

Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), also boasts the world’s second-largest 5G subscriber base, with 108 million subscribers. Over 28% of Jio’s total wireless data traffic is attributed to 5G users, highlighting the company’s rapid adoption of advanced technologies.

Analysts expect Jio’s market share to continue growing, with projections indicating a subscriber base of 490-500 million by FY25. As the 5G rollout concludes, Jio is expected to focus on monetizing its 5G services.

In the fourth quarter of FY24, Jio’s total subscriber base expanded to 481 million, with a net addition of 10.9 million subscribers. In comparison, Airtel has 345.6 million subscribers, while Vodafone Idea’s base stands at 215 million.

Analysts anticipate that Jio’s strong subscriber addition will persist, driven by competitive pricing and the introduction of 5G. The availability of the JioBharat phone at an attractive price point is expected to further drive subscriber growth, particularly among current 2G users.

For FY25, Jio’s key priorities include expanding its home broadband segment through JioFiber and JioAirFiber subscriber bases, as well as scaling up digital services. Jio currently holds the position of India’s largest wired broadband operator, with a subscriber base 43 percent larger than that of Bharti Airtel as of February 2024.

The success of JioAirFiber across 5,900 towns is driving demand for home broadband, with strong engagement due to content bundling. Average daily data usage for JioAirFiber subscribers is around 13GB, 30 percent higher than that for JioFiber subscribers.

Analysts suggest that Jio’s focus on AirFiber will prompt Bharti Airtel to accelerate the roll-outs of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services, indicating a potential shift in the broadband market landscape in India.

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