Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today released its Subscription Data for December 2017 and the top five telecom operators in the country showed positive growth. State-run telco, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) added 421,836 new subscribers in the month and retained its 100 million subscriber base too. However, MTNL lost 6561 subscribers in the month. Leading telecom operator, Bharti Airtel added just 576,575 subscribers during the month, which is rather a small number by its standards. Reliance Jio has added a whopping eight million new customers in the month, followed by Idea Cellular with 2.4 million new subscribers and Vodafone with 1.5 million.
On the whole, Bharti Airtel’ subscriber base reached 290 million during the month, which is followed by Vodafone with 212 million customers on board. Idea Cellular started gaining momentum again after being struck in the 190 million mark for a longer time. Idea is currently the third largest telco with 196 million users, followed by Reliance Jio with 160 million users as it said earlier. BSNL, in total, has 107 million subscribers.
Speaking of the entire wireless telecom subscriber data in the country, the number increased from 1,162.47 million at the end of November 2017 to 1,167.44 million at the end of December 2017, registering a monthly growth rate of 0.43%. As on December 31, 2017, the private access service providers held 90.45% market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 9.55%.
Furthermore, out of the total wireless subscribers of 1,167.44 million, 1,015.52 million wireless subscribers were active on the date of peak VLR in the month of December 2017. The proportion of active wireless subscribers was approximately 86.99% of the total wireless subscriber base said Trai in the released statement.
Reliance Jio’s massive subscriber addition could be of the JioPhone success. The company reportedly sold over 15 million units of JioPhone, and every user is required to get a new Jio 4G SIM card to use the JioPhone. Also, Airtel’ subscriber addition has slowed down during the month, which is sad to see because the telco managed to go head on head with Reliance Jio in the tariff plans department.