The Indian mobile subscriber base touched 815.5 million at the end of January 2017 with telcos adding 5.15 million new subscribers last month, says the data released by Cellular Operators Association of India’s (COAI). The number of additions recorded a significant drop in January 2017 when compared with previous month as telcos had added 8.18 million new subscribers in December 2016. This might be an indication that Reliance Jio (India's newest service provider) is getting a significant share of new customers.
Significantly, COAI data does not reveal the Jio subscriber additions. India's newest operator, Jio claims to have added 100 million subscribers since its launch in September 2016.
The country's largest service provider, Bharti Airtel added the maximum of 3.55 million new subscribers to reach the customer base of 269.4 million. The operator commands 33% market share. Airtel is closely followed by Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. While Vodafone India claims to have a subscriber base of 206.44 million, Idea Cellular ranks third with a wireless subscriber base of 192.06 million subscribers at the end of January 2017.
The growth in the subscriptions indicates that consumer base is expanding and reaching new horizons in the country. The industry continues to provide good service and connectivity across the country and develop mobile infrastructure in far-flung regions, despite extremely trying times and poor financial health of the sector. We hope that this momentum of growth and expansion of mobile infrastructure will help us fulfil the Government’s vision of a fully connected Digital India. We also hope that the industry will receive support in its endeavours to empower consumers and citizens through timely regulatory and policy interventions says Rajan S Mathews, Director General at COAI in a statement issued by the organisation.
Maharashtra added the maximum of 0.92 million new subscribers in January 2017. Uttar Pradesh East has the maximum subscriber base of 74.35 million subscribers while Maharashtra stands second with 70.17 million subscribers.