According to data released by the industry body COAI, India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel continues to hold the top position by adding 4.50 million subscribers in April. The subscriber base now stands at 308.6 million.
While Idea Cellular had the maximum number of subscriber additions, adding 5.55 million to bring its total subscribers to 216.76 million, however, Vodafone India has lost 6.6 lakh customers which ended at 222.03 million subscribers, in the same month.
As per Cellular Operators Association of India, India's private telecom service providers have a total of 1.049 billion mobile subscribers. This includes subscriber figures of Aircel, RJio, MTNL, and Telenor as of March 2018.
Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said: "We are glad to see the constant growth of the subscribers' base and expansion of connectivity in the rural areas. With this increasing reach, people are also shifting to 4G technology."
He said: "As the Draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018 proposes extending exemptions for the construction of telecom towers and provide accelerated Rights of Way permissions for telecom tower, the telecom connectivity will soon reach to the last person of the country. The growth seen in mobile subscribers this month is encouraging, and the industry is working daily to ensure that connectivity reaches the farthest corners of the country."
The report also provides mobile subscriber numbers for individual circles, showed that the UP (East) circle remained at the top with a total of 91.07 million subscribers, while Maharashtra remained at second position with a total of 84.26 million mobile subscribers.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio dragged the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) into the court for making defamatory statements against it.
Justice Yogesh Khanna issued a notice to industry body and its director general Rajan S Mathews on a suit filed by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd seeking to prevent and restrain them from continuing to make "maliciously false, disparaging and defamatory statements" against it, saying a prima facie case is made out.
However, Mathews and the counsel of the COAI argued that the comments did not fall under the purview of defamation.