Reliance Jio
Commuters are reflected on an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, at a bus stop in Mumbai.REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

The telecom industry is witnessing a steady growth, thanks to Jio and its increasing user base. As clouds of anxiety cast a shadow on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, a change in Jio's growth pattern could be a sign of relief in the last seven months.

Reliance Jio has consistently been adding millions of users to its network, thanks to the unlimited freebies given to customers over a period of six months. The company started its paid tariffs only last month, where it has managed to migrate most of its free users to paid customers. But as the months pass, and the dust settles on Jio's freebies, the number of new users joining the network is slowly declining.

Reliance Jio has already created several records in the telecom industry, despite being a new entrant in the world led by giants like Airtel and Vodafone. In December last year, the new telco added a whopping 20.3 million users – the highest ever recorded by any telco in such a short period.

When Jio started its journey in September, it managed to add 16 million users, followed by 19.6 million in October and 16.3 million subscribers in November. The year 2016 was a busy one for Jio. To continue the success story, Jio launched Happy New Year offer in January, where it added 18.5 million users.

After setting such high benchmarks in the previous months, Jio added 6 million subscribers in March 2017, which has been its lowest so far. Does it mean Jio is losing its charm and appeal to attract new subscribers? We can hardly agree.

Even at Jio's lowest, it managed to beat rivals Airtel, Idea and Vodafone with a good margin. During the same period, Airtel added 3 million users, Idea Cellular came in second with 2.1 million and Vodafone hit the 1.8 million mark.

Moreover, Jio's freebies were a great appeal to new users and it was easy to convince users with offers like unlimited free 4G data, free voice calls and more. Now, the telco has Jio Prime membership, under which it is giving the best offers. But Jio's disruptive tariffs have forced other telcos to up their game, and the competition is fierce in the telecom industry.

Users are now treated to several offers from all telcos, which is dividing the forces from joining Reliance Jio. Jio's Prime membership promises to give best offers, and its current offer includes 3 more months of free data, unlimited calls for a nominal fee of Rs. 303 + Rs. 99 towards membership fees.

In a short span of seven months, Jio has already scaled up to become the fourth largest telecom operator in the country with 9.29 percent market share as on March 31. Airtel is still leading the pack with 23.39 percent, while Vodafone and Idea Cellular control 17.87 percent and 16.70 percent, respectively.