Telecom subscriber base of the country reached all-time high of 97 crore at the end of December 2014, as per the latest report by regulator TRAI.
"The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 964.20 million at the end of November, 2014 to 970.97 million at the end of December, 2014," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in the report.
This surpasses the previous record of 96.55 crore reached in June 2012. Teledensity in the country, which means connection per 100, reached 77.58. The mobile or wireless subscriber base in country is now already at all-time highs after it crossed 93.53-crore mark at the end of October 2014.
The previous record was set again in June 2012 when mobile subscriber base in the country reached 93.4 crore. At the end of of December, the total mobile subscriber base reached 94.39 crore. Out of the total wireless subscriber base, 83.3 crore wireless subscribers were found active in December, 2014.
In this record breaking journey, Bharti Airtel has maintained its leadership with 21.72 crore mobile customers. It is followed by Vodafone with 17.86 crore mobile subscribers, Idea Cellular 15.05 crore, Reliance Communications 10.62 crore, BSNL 8.13 crore, Aircel 7.86 crore, Tata Teleservices 6.61 crore and Uninor 4.36 crore.
However, it is Idea Cellular that added over 25 lakh customers, the highest by any company, in December 2014. It is followed by Airtel which added over 17 lakh new mobile customers, Vodafone about 15 lakh, Telewings (Uninor) 12 lakh, Aircel over 9 lakh, Tata Teleservices about 6 lakh, Videocon (including Quadrant) 2.7 lakh and MTNL 22,445 new mobile customers.
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New operator Videocon registered fastest growth rate in its mobile subscribers base and was followed by Telewings. State-run BSNL in the reported month lost 13 lakh subscribers and Sistema Shyam lost 68,110 customers.
Closure of Mumbai-based Loop Mobile business in November also brought down subscriber base by about 7 lakh. During the reported month, about 35 lakh subscribers submitted request to change their mobile service provider taking the total number of such requests under Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service to 14.29 crore.
The wireline connections further declined to 2.7 crore from 2.71 crore in November 2014. The growth in broadband subscribers was also dominated by mobile operators with 6.9 crore customers. The total broadband subscriber base increased by 4.28 per cent on monthly basis to 8.57 crore at the end of December from 8.2 crore in November.