Cutting short two months of decline, telecom subscriber base rose by 1.98 per cent to 1074.24 million in the country at September-end mainly boosted by the formal launch of services by newcomer Reliance Jio.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,053.40 million at the end of August 2016 to 1,074.24 million at the end of September 2016, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 1.98 per cent,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said on Friday.
In July and August, telecom subscriber base declined by 0.1 per cent and 0.52 per cent respectively.
The growth was led by Reliance Jio which reported 15.97 million customers on its network after its formal launch on September 5. This is for the first time that Trai’s monthly subscriber report included customer base of Reliance Jio.
“Total wireless subscriber base increased from 1,028.88 million at the end of August 2016 to 1,049.74 million at the end of September 2016, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 2.03 per cent,” Trai said.
Bharti Airtel followed Reliance Jio in terms of net subscriber addition by adding 2.43 million customers. Idea Cellular added 1.91 million customer and BSNL 1.4 million.
Vodafone net customer addition in September was 525,281, Aircel 426,862, Reliance Communications 97,942, Quadrant (Videocon Punjab) 6,273 and MTNL 5,641.
Tata Teleservices lost 1.22 million customers, Telenor 367,162 and Sistema Shyam lost 340,743 customers.
In terms of growth rate, public sector firm BSNL led the chart with 1.52 per cent growth in its customer base followed by Idea, Bharti Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone.
However, wireline or landline subscriber base in the country continued to decline to 24.49 million at the end of September 2016 from 24.51 million at the end of August 2016. BSNL and MTNL continued to be biggest losers of landline subscriber base and private operators Airtel and Vodafone biggest gainers.
The broadband subscriber base in the country grew by around 12 per cent driven by 3G and 4G uptake in mobile segment.
Wireless or mobile broadband subscriber in September grew by 13.31 per cent to 173.87 million from 153.45 million in August 2016. The fixed line broadband connections grew by 0.94 per cent to 17.84 million from 17.67 million.
“Top five service providers constituted 78.62% market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of Sep-16. These service providers were Bharti Airtel (46.19 million), Vodafone (35.94 million), Idea Cellular (30.72 million), BSNL (21.60 million) and Reliance Communications Group (16.74 million),” Trai said.
In September 4.99 million subscribers requested for mobile number portability taking the total number of requests to over 239 million.