Telecom users in the country crossed 104-crore mark with mobile service provider adding over 70 lakh new customers in January 2016, says a Trai report. "The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,036.41 million at the end of December 2015 to 1,043.29 million at the end of January 2016, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.66 per cent," The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report said.
The overall tele-density in India increased to 82.30 in January from from 81.83 at the end of December. The urban tele-density reached 153.02 and rural tele-density crossed 50.33 at the end of January. The fixed line connections continued to decline despite efforts of BSNL and MTNL to offer free unlimited calls across any number in country during night. The number of landline connections in January dropped marginally to 2.53 crore from 2.55 crore in December.
Airtel gained 23,117 new landline customers while state-run BSNL lost over 2 lakh wireline subscribers. The mobile connections continued to dominate growth with telecom operator adding 70.8 lakh new customers taking the total mobile connections in the country to 101.79 crore. Telecom major Airtel led the race by adding 25 lakh new mobile subscribers, followed by Idea Cellular that added 12.51 lakh customers and Vodafone 11.12 lakh. BSNL regained its fourth spot by adding 9.25 lakh new customers.
Telenor added 7.24 lakh new customers, Aircel 4.35 lakh and Reliance Communications (RCom) 3.15 lakh. Tata Teleservices and MTNL added 75,654 and 9,220 subscribers, respectively. Videocon Telecom net loss in January stood at 1.5 lakh (after adjustment of subscribers added by its subsidiary Quadrant Televentures). Sistema Shyam Teleservices lost 1.12 lakh subscribers. Out of 101.79 crore subscribers, 91.76 crore subscriber were found active in January.
In the month of January, 56.2 lakh subscribers submitted their requests for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) to change their service provider. With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased to 19.96 crore at the end of January, 2016, since implementation of MNP. Broadband subscribers increased from 13.65 crore at the end of December to 14 crore million at the end of January.
Mobile devices accounted for 12.29 crore broadband connections in January. Bharti Airtel reported to have 3.27 crore broadband customers on its network, Vodafone 2.62 crore, Idea Cellular 2.2 crore), BSNL over 2 crore and RCom 1.54 crore.