Customers wait to recharge their mobile phones as a vendor checks another device at a mobile phone store in the Dharavi slum area of Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, 12 August 2014. (Photo: Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg)

Only Jio, BSNL Added Mobile Users In December: TRAI Data

Telecom subscribers in the country grew marginally to 119.7 crore in December with only two operators, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., reporting addition in their user base.

Reliance Jio added 85.64 crore users and BSNL 5.56 lakh customers to their network taking their customer base to 28 crore and 11.4 crore respectively in December, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s subscriber report.

An increase in number of subscribers for BSNL has come at a time the government has asked the state-run firms to explore options, including shutting down operations, due to heavy losses.

“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,193.72 million at the end of November 2018 to 1,197.87 million at the end of December 18, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.35 percent,” TRAI said. Mobile subscriber base reached 117.6 crore in the month.

Vodafone Idea Ltd. lost the highest number of mobile subscribers—23.3 lakh—but still continued to be the biggest telecom operator with total subscriber base of 42 crore. Bharti Airtel Ltd. reported a loss of 15 lakh subscribers taking its customer base to 34 crore.

Airtel, however, had stopped counting 5.7-crore low revenue contributor mobile customers in its third quarter financial performance and reported total effective subscriber base of 28.42 crore by the end of December.

Tata Teleservices, which is in process of merging business with Airtel, also reported a dip of 10 lakh mobile customers on its network. State-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.’s mobile customer base reduced to 46,409, while that of Reliance Communications Ltd. fell to to 22,138 customers.

The broadband customer base in the country increased by 1.3 percent to 51.8 crore in December from 51.1 crore in November. The segment was dominated by mobile devices that accounted for 49.99 crore connections. Fixed line broadband connections stood at 1.81 crore.

Reliance Jio topped the chart with 28 crore broadband subscribers. It was followed by Vodafone Idea with 10.79 crore subscribers, Bharti Airtel at 10 crore, BSNL at 2 crore and Tata Teleservices Group with 22.6 lakh connections.

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