According to the new data by Cellular Operators Association of India ( COAI), India's largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel continues to hold the top position, with 29.61 percent market share by adding another 0.60 million subscribers during July to take its total subscriber base to 281.25 million subscribers.
COAI said, Airtel is closely followed by Vodafone India Ltd, which stands at 210.5 million, while Idea Cellular Ltd. stood at 193.95 million subscribers at the end of July.
Furthermore, the data says that, apart from Bharti Airtel, all other telecom operators have lost the subscribers in the said month. Vodafone India lost 1,389,854, while Idea Cellular lost 2,320,480 customers. The scenario stands still with struggling operators such as Aircel and Telenor.
The data, which also provides mobile subscriber numbers across individual circles, showed that UP (East) circle remained at the top with total 84.16 million subscribers, while Maharashtra remained at second position with a total of 78.78 million mobile subscribers. Bihar was a close third with total 76.23 million subscribers.
Maharashtra and UP East led in the number of new additions with 0.51 million and 0.47 million new subscribers respectively followed by Karnataka with 0.32 million subscribers in July 2017 to end the month at 5.13 million subscribers. Delhi and Mumbai added 96,000 and 1,26,262 subscribers, to end July with 47.17 million and 29.71 million subscribers respectively.
Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI said "The increase of subscribers in Maharashtra, UP East, and Karnataka showed that the sector was in a strong position as far as subscriber numbers go, and showed that the increasing investment in infrastructure in those states was showing fruition. However, the extreme financial stress being experienced by the industry currently is likely to show its impact on these numbers."
"The industry is undergoing a phase of the hyper competition and at the moment it is reeling under a debt of over INR 4.5 lakh crores. The industry further needs an additional investment of over INR 2.5 lakh crore for infrastructure rollout and expansion are required especially in the far-flung areas of the country," he added
Meanwhile, the telecom subscriber numbers, for the month ending July 2017 as per the data, India's private telecom service providers have a total of 949.74 million subscribers, including those of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd at the end of March 2017 (As per TRAI Data).