Reliance Jio’s 4G feature phone is anticipated to result in a greater market share loss among Bharti Airtel’s 2G customers than Vodafone Idea did, further delaying rate increases, according to analysts.

They stated that Jio will increase its market share thanks to competitive pricing and decent device quality.

“While Bharti’s network is superior to that of its 2G competitors, bigger subscriber losses will result from its leading position in the feature-phone market. By March 2026, we anticipate 17 million voice subscribers leaving Bharti, according to research from Jefferies.As per estimates, Airtel has over 130 million active 2G subscribers and around 100 million paying voice subscribers, implying a 40-50% share among the 250 million feature-phone market. Earlier this month, Jio had launched the Rs 999 internet enabled feature phone – Jio Bharat, with the aim to capture a majority of the 2G user base in the country. With attractive pricing, those feature phone users who are at the end of their device life, are likely to save 26% on their mobile spends.According to the estimate, Reliance Jio would add 55 million members by March 2026, giving Jio Bharat an annual addressable market of 60–65 million consumers. The introduction of Jio Bharat and significant network capacity expansions, according to analysts, highlight the Mukesh Ambani-led company’s increasing emphasis on customer gains and portend poorly for tariff increases. As a result, the report stated, “we change our tariff hike assumptions from a 15% hike towards the end of CY23 to a 20% hike in 2Q FY25, which results in a 3-5% cut to our FY24-25 India mobile Arpu (average revenue per user) estimates.”

Meanwhile, analysts believe that survival worries ease for Vodafone Idea (Vi) in the medium term as the promoters have shown willingness to infuse additional equity to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore. Over the last few years, Vodafone Idea has been struggling financially, cutting down on investments in networks and delaying payments to vendors. But the company has ensured prompt payments on its bank debt, which has declined to Rs 11,400 crore from Rs 35,300 crore in the past few years.