Driven by growth in mobile phone users, Indian telecom subscribers crossed 1.01 billion mark in August, as per regulator Trai data.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,009.31 million at the end of July 2015 to 1,014.70 million at the end of August 2015, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.53 percent,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in its monthly subscribers report.
The wireless or mobile subscriber base in the country grew by half a percent to 988.6 million in August from 983.2 million in July.
Out of the total wireless subscriber base, 885.9 million customers were found active. However, the subscriber base of landline continued its decline despite public sector BSNL and MTNL offering free calling schemes.
The growth in mobile users was led by telecom major Bharti Airtel with net subscriber addition of 1.312 million in August, followed by Idea Cellular with 1.167 million users, Vodafone 1.127 million, Tata Teleservices 825,000, BSNL 812,000, Telenor 390,000, Aircel 384,000, Videocon Telecom (with Quadrant) 116,000, and MTNL 18,132.
Sistema Shyam and Reliance Communications, both companies that are in process of consolidation, lost 182,000 and 491,000 users, respectively. Reliance Communications saw maximum erosion in subscriber base in Bihar where its right to use the 900MHz spectrum (2G) expires this December.
The landline or wireline connections declined from 26.1 million in July to 26.0 million at the end of August. In the landline segment Bharti Airtel was biggest gainer, while state-run BSNL was biggest loser in August. The number of broadband subscribers increased to 117.3 million at the end of August, with monthly growth rate of 3.55 percent compared to 113.3 million in July. In the month of August, a total of 4.3 million subscribers submitted their requests for mobile number portability service taking the cumulative request to 172.2 million.