India’s Mobile Subscriber Base Declines for First Time, Drops by over 20 Million

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India's mobile subscriber base (GSM and CDMA) decreased from 934.09 million in June 2012 to 913.49 million at the end of July 2012, registering a monthly negative growth of -2.21%.

This the first ever decline in the country in terms of mobile users and it is due to large scale disconnections of non-active subscribers by some operators like Reliance, Tata Docomo and MTNL.

The biggest loss in user base came from Reliance Communications (Rcom - Reliance Mobile CDMA and GSM) that lost 20.48 million mobile users, followed by Tata Docomo, Uninor, Videocon, Loop and MTNL. Reliance and MTNL deactivating the inactive prepaid subscribers who have not had any usage in the last 60 to 180 days.

Tata Docomo (TTL) lost over 2.4 million wireless customers, Uninor lost over 1 million subscribers, Videocon 0.41 million, Loop Mobile (Mumbai) and  MTNL (Mumbai and Delhi) each lost around 0.15 million subscribers in July 2012.

India's largest mobile service provider Airtel added over 1.5 million new customers, taking its total subscriber base to over 188 million. While Vodafone India has added over 1.2 million users and its total subscriber base is now over 154 million. Idea Cellular, Aircel, MTS India and Videocon Punjab (HFCL) added 0.45 million, 0.28 million, 0.16 milion, and 23,000 new users respectively in July. National telecom back bone Bharat Sanchar Nigma Ltd (BSNL) added 0.47 million GSM subscribers in July 2012.

Active Mobile Subscribers : Out of the total 913.49 million mobile subscribers,  only 698.06 million were active on the date of Peak VLR for the month of July 2012. The proportion of VLR subscribers is approximately 76.42% of the total wireless subscriber base reported by the service providers.

Circle-wise Active Mobile Users : Jammu & Kashmir has the highest proportion of VLR subscribers (active mobile subscribers) with 83.72% followed by Maharshtra (82.31%) and Madhya Pradesh (81.78%); Tamil Nadu has the lowest proportion with 67.82%. Service Provider wise, Idea leads the tally with 92.80% followed by Bharti (90.46%).

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