Telecom customer base shrinks to 1,053 million in August
Telecom subscriber base in the country declined by over half a per cent to 1,053.4 million in August from 1,058.8 million in July, mainly due to Reliance Communications (RCom) losing its 2G customers on adoption of 4G technology, as per Trai's monthly subscriber report.
"The number of telephone subscribers in India declined from 1,058.85 million at the end of July 2016 to 1,053.40 million at the end of August 2016, showing a monthly decline rate of 0.52%," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in the report.
Consequent on migration from CDMA to LTE (4G) by Reliance Communications, the CDMA subscriber base reduced by 18 million during August, the report said.
In July too, RCom lost 3.24 million mobile customers.
With the continuous slide in the customer base, RCom slipped to sixth position in the Indian mobile market in June-August, after Aircel.
On the other hand, the state-owned BSNL led the market in terms of new customer addition and became the fourth largest mobile player in August with a total subscriber base of over 92.36 million. Its net mobile customer addition in July was 1.6 million.
The overall teledensity in India declined to 82.54 at August-end, from 83.04 at July-end.
Tata Teleservices and Sistema Shyam also continued to lose mobile customers in August.
In terms of net mobile subscriber addition during August, Bharti Airtel followed BSNL by adding 701,750 new customers. Vodafone added 486,206, Idea Cellular 412,697, Aircel 376,325, Telenor 114,944 , Quadrant (Videocon Punjab) 11,955 and MTNL 9,913.
The wireline or landline subscriber base in the country declined to 24.51 million at the end of August, from 24.62 million at the end of July, with BSNL losing maximum customers.
Despite attractive schemes of free calls during night and on Sundays, BSNL saw a loss of 126,856 landline customers in August, taking its wireline customer base to 13.9 million. The state-owned MTNL too lost 8,617 landline customers.
While private operator Bharti Airtel led the growth in wireline segment by adding 24,388 new customers in August, Vodafone added 4,619 and RCom 615.
The number of broadband subscribers increased to 171.71 million at the end of August, from 166.96 million in July.
"Top five service providers constituted 85.16% market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of August 2016. These service providers were Bharti Airtel (45.35 million), Vodafone (35.01 million), Idea (29.58 million), BSNL (21.04 million) and RCom (15.24 million)," the report said.
BSNL led the wireline broadband market with a customer base of 9.84 million at the end of August, followed by Bharti Airtel (1.91 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (1.09 million), MTNL (1.07 million) and YOU Broadband (0.57 million).
Bharti Airtel dominated wireless or mobile broadband market with customer base of 43.44 million followed by Vodafone with 35 million customers, Idea 29.58 million, RCom 15.13 million and BSNL 11.20 million.
In August, a total of 5.13 million mobile subscribers submitted their applications for mobile number portability (MNP), taking the cumulative MNP requests to 234.47 million since its implementation.