Indian telecom subscriber base dips to 120 crore in October

New Delhi: Telecom subscriber base in the country dipped marginally to 120.1 crore as telecom firms lost over 1.75 crore customers in October, telecom regulator Trai said in a report released on Tuesday.

The impact was, however, mitigated to some extent with leading telecom players Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and BSNL jointly adding over 1.26 crore new mobile customers during the month.

“The number of telephone subscribers in India slightly declined from 1,206.71 million at the end of September 2017 to 1,201.72 million at the end of October 2017,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said.

The number of connections in urban India declined to 69.75 crore at the end of October 2017 from 70.48 crore in September, however, the rural subscription increased to 50.41 crore from 50.18 crore during the same period.

The mobile subscriber base in the country declined by 48.5 lakh to 117.82 crore in October. Reliance Jio led the mobile segment in terms of new customers addition with net addition of 73.44 lakh subscribers. It was followed by Bharti Airtel which added 31.4 lakh new customers, Vodafone 8.79 lakh, Idea 7.13 lakh and BSNL 6.02 lakh customers.

Reliance Communications was biggest loser in the mobile segment. It lost 1.09 crore customers in the reported month. Next biggest customer loss of 47.11 lakh was reported by Tata Teleservices in October. Telenor lost 11.44 lakh customers, Sistema Shyam 2.31 lakh and state-run MTNL lost 11,520 customers.

Despite free call offers, landline subscribers base continue to decline in the country. In October, the landline subscriber base declined to 2.35 crore at the end of October from 2.36 crore at the end of September. State-run telecom BSNL which leads the landline segment lost highest number of customers. It lost 1.23 lakh customers in October.

The broadband subscriber base in the country increased to 34 crore at the end of October from 32.48 crore in September with a monthly growth rate of 4.7 per cent. Mobile broadband connection led the segment with 32.17 crore subscribing to high speed Internet connection on their cellular devices.

“Top five service providers constituted 92.17 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of October 2017. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd (14.59 crore), Bharti Airtel (6.69 crore), Vodafone (4.84 crore), Idea Cellular (3.1 crore) and BSNL (2.12 crore),” the report said.