Reliance Jio is now India’s second largest telco by subscribers, after recently surpassing Bharti Airtel

India’s disruptive telecoms operator, Reliance Jio, has said that it will continue to prioritise the acquisition of new subscribers over profitability, as the company closes the gap with India’s biggest telco, Vodafone Idea.

A report by Business Today claims that senior executives from Reliance Jio would be focussing on growing the company’s subscriber base over the short to mid-term future.

"We have been telling you from the beginning, the priority for us today is customers," Jio’s head of strategy, Anshuman Thakur, told reporters from Business Today.

Jio has accumulated 331.3 million subscribers since its inception in 2016. Jio has radically disrupted the Indian telecoms market since it launched its range of ultra-low cost 4G data tariffs and handsets, facilitating a digital revolution in India, which has seen data consumption levels amongst consumers saw. Simultaneously, Indian telcos have seen their average revenue per user (ARPU) plummet, as Jio continues to deliver ultra-low-cost services.

Jio’s financial report for the second quarter of 2019 showed that the company’s ARPU was just 122 rupees ($1.77), a year-on-year reduction of over 9 per cent.

Jio is currently India’s second largest telco, trailing the newly formed Vodafone Idea by around 100 million subscribers. However, in recent weeks, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked Vodafone Idea to clarify the number of subscribers it has, after noticing a discrepancy in the figures reported to regulators and shareholders.     

With Jio set to continue its assault on the Indian telecoms market, there seems little prospect of its rivals being able to increase their own ARPUs any time soon. 

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