As per a report from Telecom Regulatory of India (Trai), telcos have lost more than 82 lakh wireless subscribers (2G, 3G, 4G) in the month of April 2020. It is surprising since during that month India was in a strict lockdown. Ideally, more people should have subscribed instead of dropping out. In the month of March 2020, there were a total of 1,157.75 million wireless subscribers. But at the end of April 2020, the number of wireless subscribers had gone down 1,149.52 million. That registers a monthly decline of wireless subscribers at a rate of 0.71%.
Jio the Sole Gainer of Subscribers
It was interesting to see that Reliance Jio gained a huge chunk of subscribers whereas its competitors like Vodafone Idea Limited and Bharti Airtel lost a lot of them. Reliance Jio gained 15,75,333 subscribers in the month of April 2020. Vodafone Idea Limited and Bharti Airtel lost 45,16,866 and 52,69,882 subscribers. BSNL, on the other hand, lost 20,016 subscribers.
Another interesting pattern/trend which was visible in the data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) was that the telcos saw an increasing trend of wireless subscribers in rural areas and a decreasing trend in urban areas.
In the urban areas, wireless subscribers decreased from 638.48 million in March 2020 to 629.44 million in April 2020. At the same time, wireless subscribers increased from 519.27 million to 520.08 million in April 2020. The monthly growth rates for both urban and rural areas were -1.42% and 0.16% respectively.
Talking about the wireless tele-density in India, the number decreased from 85.87 in March 2020 to 85.18 at the end of April 2020. Again, urban areas saw a decreasing trend in numbers and rural areas saw an increasing trend.
For the urban areas, wireless tele-density fell to 136.22 in April 2020 from 138.41 on March 2020. Coming to the rural areas, wireless tele-density rose from 58.54 in March 2020 to 68.61 in April 2020.
The share of wireless subscribers both in urban areas and rural areas stood at 54.76% and 45.24% at the end of April 2020.