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Last Updated : Nov 06, 2013 04:56 PM IST | Source: PTI

Mobile user base falls to 87.05 cr in September

The mobile user base declined 0.70 percent to 87.05 crore from 87.67 crore at the end of August 2013, according to data released by sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

 
 
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The country's wireless subscriber base fell to 87.05 crore at the end of September, registering  the first drop in five months, after Reliance Communications (RComm) deactivated services of over 1 crore "unprofitable" users.


According to data released by sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai),  the mobile user base declined 0.70 percent to 87.05 crore  from 87.67 crore at the end of August 2013. This was the first time after April this year that the subscriber base has declined. In April, the user base fell by 10 lakh.  Reliance Communications lost 1.04 crore users in  September. Its subscriber base at the September 2013 stood at 11.62 crore.  As a result of the deactivations, RComm has slipped to fourth position in the wireless user base in the country with 13.35 percent market share. 


"Reliance Communications has deactivated the services of around 10 million unprofitable, low-end subscribers at the lowest end of the ARPU range, who had not used their phones for over two months. This is in line with the industry practice and has no impact on customer experience or (the Company's) revenues," an RComm spokesperson said in a statement. 


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"We continue to focus on improving the contribution from profitable minutes on our network," he added. The overall share of urban wireless subscribers has declined from 59.98 percent to 59.75 percent whereas share of rural wireless subscribers has increased from 40.02 percent to 40.25 percent. The overall wireless teledensity in India has declined to 70.63 percent from 71.21 percent of previous month, Trai said. 


The overall telecom user base (including wireline) also declined 0.70 percent to 89.98 crore at the end of September 2013 from 90.61 crore at the end of August. "The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased  from 906.18 million at the end of August, 2013 to 899.86  million at the end of September 2013, thereby showing a  monthly decline of 0.70 percent," Trai said. 


The regulator said at the end of September, private operators hold 88.33 percent of the wireless market share (based on subscriber base) where as BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU operators, hold only 11.67 percent market share. In terms of net additions, Idea Cellular added 12.07 lakh users to take its base to 12.72 crore at the end of September. It is now the third largest telecom player in the country in terms of subscribers with 14.61 percent market share. 


Vodafone added 12.05 lakh subscribers during the month and its user base at the end of September stood at 15.55 crore. Country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel added 11.64 lakh users in September to take its base to 19.33 crore at the end of month. The company has a market share of 22.21 percent in terms of user base.


Aircel added 6.42 lakh users during September to take its user base to 6.32 crore at the end of the month.  State-run BSNL and MTNL lost 74,566 and 2.32 lakh users respectively during the reported period. The respective user base of the PSU players stood at 9.78 crore and 37.41 lakh.


Tata Teleservices and Sistema Shyam Teleservices also lost 1.43 lakh and 12,690 users respectively. Trai said, in September 2013, 22.9 lakh requests have been made for mobile number portability (MNP).  Broadband subscription base inched up to 1.53 crore in September 2013 from 1.52 crore in August 2013.


"Total broadband subscriber base has increased from 15.28 million at the end of August 2013 to 15.36 million at the end of September 2013, there by showing a monthly growth of 0.52 percent," Trai said. 

The regulator said there are 158 internet service providers (ISPs) which are providing broadband services in the country as on September 30, 2013. "Top five ISPs in terms of market share (based on subscriber base) are: BSNL (9.98 million), Bharti Airtel (1.44 million), MTNL (1.10 million), Hathway (0.37 million) and You  Broadband (0.33 million)," Trai added.



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First Published on Nov 6, 2013 01:58 pm
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