Telecom subscriber base dips marginally to 1,173 million in December; Airtel, Jio add new customers
Telecom subscriber base dips marginally to 1,173 million in December; Airtel, Jio add new customers
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Telecom subscriber base in the country fell marginally to 1,173 million in December 2020 with Vodafone Idea and state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL losing the bulk of their customers, according to data released by sector regulator Trai on Thursday.

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio were the only gainers of new customers in December.

"The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,175.27 million at the end of November 2020 to 1,173.83 million at the end of December 2020," Trai's telecom subscribers report for December 2020 said.

The mobile subscriber base declined to 1,153.77 million in December, from 1,155.2 million in November.

The dip in the subscribers base was mainly due to Vodafone Idea losing over 5.69 million mobile customers. It was followed by BSNL, which lost over 2,52,501 subscribers, and MTNL lost 6,442 customers.

Bharti Airtel led the mobile segment with an addition of over 4 million new customers and Reliance Jio added 4,78,917 new customers.

Bharti Airtel also led the market in active subscriber base. The company reported 97.1 per cent active subscribers in December. It was followed by Vodafone Idea with 90.26 per cent and Reliance Jio with 80.23 per cent.

Only about half of BSNL's mobile customer base was found to be active, while only less than one-fifth of MTNL customers were found active in December, according to the report.

Punjab reported the highest decline rate in mobile subscriber base of 3.34 per cent. It was followed by Mumbai, Madhya pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The highest growth rate in mobile subscriber base was recorded in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and northeastern region.

Reliance Jio led customer addition in the fixed line segment by gaining 2,35,317 customers while market leader BSNL continued to lose customers in the segment. Private players Bharti Airtel, Quadrant and Vodafone Idea also gained fixed line customers.

BSNL lost 2,55,909 fixed line customers, which was the biggest loss reported by a player in the segment in December. Its sister concern MTNL also lost 23,277 customers.

Broadband subscriber base in the country grew marginally to 747.41 million in December with wireless segment recording 724.46 million connections.

Reliance Jio maintained its lead in the broadband segment with 410.84 million customers. It was followed by Bharti Airtel with 179 million broadband subscribers, Vodafone Idea 120.77 million, BSNL 26.32 million and Atria Convergence 1.78 million connections in December 2020, the report said.

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