The number of telecom subscribers has increased by 4.79 million to 1190.67 million (1.19 billion) in December 2017, as per a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
According to the report, in the last month of 2017, the number of telephone subscribers witness a 0.4 per cent growth to 1190.67 million, whereas in November it stood at 1,185.88 million.
The telecom regulator’s report also clarifies that the mobile telephony segment led the growth by adding 4.79 million customers divided among five telecom operators – Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, and BSNL.
Among the Access Service Providers, Jio topped the chart with the net addition over 8 million new wireless subscribers. It was followed by Idea Cellular with 2.43 million new subscribers, while Vodafone added 1.5 million new subscribers in the same time period. Airtel and BSNL added 576,575 and 421,836 subscribers, respectively.
Other telecom subscribers in the mobile segment lost a significant number of subscribers. For instance, Aircel lost over 2.65 million subscribers, Reliance Communications lost 2.3 million, Telenor 1.71 million, Tata Teleservices 1.3 million, and MTNL lost 6,561 mobile subscribers.
Nevertheless, Reliance Communication, who shut down its services recently had managed retained 33.16 million subscribers.
As far as Mobile number portability (MNP) is concerned, a total of 7.43 million requests were received in December 2017. With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 330.98 million at the end of October to 338.41 million at the end of December.
In MNP Zone-I (Northern and Western India), the highest number of requests till date have been received in Rajasthan (about 28.09 million), while in MNP Zone-II (Southern and Eastern India), the highest number of requests till date have been received in Karnataka (about 34.84 million).
Meanwhile, Trai has asked RCom to refund unspent money to customers, who have not been able to port their number or exhaust their balance.
Jio, who had recently outrun Samsung, to become number one feature phone brand, partnered with Jivi Mobiles, to launch cheapest 4G VoLTE phone. The recent growth of telecom subscribers has been highly influenced by RJio phones and its affordable data packs. Additionally, the RJio also claims to deliver the highest download speed in comparison to telecom majors Airtel, Vodafone and loss-making Idea cellular.
According to App Annie 2017 Retrospective Report, India has emerged as the second largest country after China in terms of app downloads in 2017. With the entry of new Chinese players in cheap mobile handset market in India as well as other established foreign and Indian phone making companies, the growth in the number of subscribers is expected to increase in future.
The development was first reported by Mint.