BSNL market share down to single digit, over 30% inactive users

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BSNL-logoBefore Starting Services by Private operators in the year 1994 BSNL (then DOT) was the backbone of the country's telecom network with 100% market share along with MTNL. Thereafter the Monopoly position slowly started to decline, and has continued steadily year after year particularly after 2003. The Overall Market Share of BSNL from the level of 100% has now come down and in the month of January 2015 has touched single digit as per the data published by TRAI. BSNL’s overall market share now stands at 9.90%. The company’s wireless connections as on 31st January 2015 are 80.15 Million and wireline Connections are 16.80 million whereas the total Telephone connections in India are 979.21 million.

Its mobile market share dipped to 8.42% and its fixed line market share dipped to 62.53% during the same month last year where it was 10.46% and 64.90% respectively at the end of 31.03.2014. It has lost 1.24 million mobile customers during the month whereas private operators added 8.87 million and it also lost 1.32 lakhs wireline customers. Losses in wireline customer base are happening continuously for more than a decade. It had 29.50 million fixed-line customers in January 2009 which now came down to 16.80 million at end of January 2015, a decrease of 12.70 million lines in just 6 years.

The BSNL’s VLR Data is one of the lowest in the industry. VLR Data is that the proportion of active mobile customers in the total mobile customer base. The VLR data calculated here is on the basis of active subscribers in VLR on the date of Peak VLR (Visitor Location Register) of the particular month for which the data is being collected. This data is to be taken from the switches having the purge time of not more than 72 hours.

As per the data released by TRAI it was 69.59% for BSNL during the month of January 2015 whereas the top four companies Airtel, Vodafone Idea & RCOM have more than 90% of VLR data. This means that the BSNL has a large proportion of inactive customers than the top 4 service providers. It has accumulated the inactive customers over a period of time without deactivation of inactive users from its network. From analyzing the TRAI data, it is understood that the company started to deactivate the inactive users from the beginning of the year. Due to deactivation and surrender the company lost almost 14.50 million customers only during the first 10 months of the year 2014-15. VLR data of 69.59% reflects that the company still has very high number of inactive customers (more than 30%) to be removed from the network i.e. still it has around 24.36 million inactive customers. If all the inactive customers are removed its overall market share may be reduced to less than 8%, that means the current market share shown by the company is boosted by around 1.9% fictitiously.

This article is written by J.S.SOUNDARARAJAN.

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An IT professional who has got great passion for telecom. Has been closely watching Indian telecom space since 2009.

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