Bharti Airtel Beats Reliance Jio To Add Most Lively Customers In December

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Bharti Airtel Ltd. added the most active subscribers in 14 months as concerns over protests from farmers in northern India drove Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.’s customer acquisition impaired.

The mobile operator controlled by Sunil Mittal added up to 5.5 million regular paying users in December of the previous month, according to the Indian telecommunications regulator. Reliance Jio added nearly 3.2 million subscribers while Vodafone Idea Ltd. Lost 1.5 million subscribers.

Reliance Jio saw its towers destroyed late last year during peasant protests in Delhi-NCR, Punjab and Haryana, and accused rivals of taking the opportunity to port their users, something Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea opposed.

While the active subscriber bases of Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio grew 1.7% and 1% respectively compared to the previous month, that of Vodafone Idea fell 0.6%.