The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) announced that India telecom base eroded 0.41 percent in the month of October 2017. The subscriber base fell slightly from 1,206.71 million to 1,201.72 million for all major telecom operators. The data released by Trai showed a decline in both wireless and wired customer base.
The wireless subscribers decreased by 0.41% to 1178.20 million, while wired connections plummeted even more by 0.60% to 23.53 million. There was more loss of connections in urban India than the rural area. The number of connections in urban India went down from 704.89 million in September to 697.54 million at the end of October 2017. Interestingly, rural customer base grew from 501.82 million to 504.19 million by the end of the month.
The mobile connections went down from 1,183.04 million at the end of September 2017 to 1,178.20 million at the end of October 2017. The loss was, however, mitigated by major telecom operators gaining in more 12.6 million customers.
Reliance Jio continues to lead when it comes to new customers, with the addition of 7.344 million new customers in October 2017. It was followed by Bharti Airtel which got 3.14 million subscribers, Vodafone 0.87 million, Idea 0.71 million and BSNL 0.60 million subscribers.
Operators such as Aircel, Telenor, RCom, Tata Teleservices continue to lose subscribers by a huge margin. Reliance lost a whopping 10 million subscribers, followed by Tata with more than 4 million subscribers loss. Telenor and Aircel are next on the list with 1 million and 0.9 million subscriber base loss.
As for the wired connections, state-run BSNL continues to see huge losses, followed by MTNL. Despite offering free calling services, BSNL subscriber base has dipped as wireless connection gain on the new ground. Overall, the landline subscriber base declined by 0.14 million with a monthly decline rate of 0.60%.
Despite seemingly decreasing telephone subscribers, broadband service has grown for the Indian market. Once again the wireless broadband received positive growth while wired connections aren’t doing as well. The 3G/4G wireless connections increased from 324.89 Million at the to 340.16 million with a monthly growth rate of 4.70%. For the end of October, while Reliance Jio and Airtel lead in the wireless broadband category, BSNL and Bharti Airtel are on top of wired broadband services.
Trai’s latest data shows a bleak picture for State-run BSNL in terms of declining wired connections while Reliance Jio continues to wreak havoc in the market with their ultra cheap data services.