In what would be terrible news for Vodafone Idea Limited, the telco has lost nearly 5.8 million subscribers in India during the month of February 2019. Bharti Airtel too lost subscribers, although a small number of just 50,000. Continuing the trend, Reliance Jio has added close to 7.8 million subscribers during the same month, which is followed by BSNL with 906,817 new additions. Thanks to the additions from BSNL and Reliance Jio, the country's telecom subscriber base grew marginally to 1205.40 million, according to the data published by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Both Reliance Jio and BSNL jointly added a net of 8.639 million mobile users, but the rest of the telecom operators combinedly lost a net of 6.9 million wireless customers with Vodafone Idea being the lead.
Total Telecom Subscriber Base Increased to 1205.4 Million
The number of telecom subscribers in India increased to 1205.4 million at the end of February from 1203.7 million in January, according to the Telecom Monthly Subscriber Report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). The sector, dominated by wireless connection, recorded an increase in the mobile services subscriber base to 1183.6 million in February from 1181.9 million in January.
Reliance Jio alone added 7.793 million customers, taking its total subscriber base to 297 million at the end of February. According to a television commercial of the company, it has crossed 300 million customer base now.
BSNL added around nine lakh new mobile customers, taking its total subscriber base to 116.2 million in February. "BSNL is the only operator other than Jio that has gained customers. Our performance shows that customers have faith in BSNL. We are able to compete and gain customers with our much-improved 3G network. In our endeavour to provide service, all our officers and employees are together," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said.
The state-run firm is competing in the market with the 3G network, while all other operators are loaded with the spectrum for 4G services. It has requested the government for the allocation of spectrum for 4G services through an equity infusion in 2017. The government is yet to take a final decision.
Vodafone Idea Subscriber Base Continues to Decline
The country's biggest telecom operator Vodafone Idea lost 5.787 million mobile subscribers, reducing its total customer base to 409.3 million in February. It was followed by Tata Teleservices that lost 1.14 million mobile customers, Airtel lost 49,896 subscribers, MTNL 4,652 and Reliance Communication 3,611 subscribers.
Fixed-line connections in the country declined marginally with BSNL losing about one lakh connections. Private operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone gained 42,456 and 17,563 fixed-line customers, respectively, in February.
The broadband subscriber base in the country grew 1.89% to over 550.24 million from 530.16 million during the period. The wireless broadband connections dominated the segment with 531.95 million subscribers in February.
Reliance Jio led the market with 297.2 million broadband customers. It was followed by Bharti Airtel with 111.1 million customers, Vodafone Idea 110 million crore, BSNL 21 million and and Tata Teleservices Group with 21.7 lakh broadband subscribers.