Four private telecom operators, including Idea Cellular and Vodafone, lost 43.7 lakh customers while Bharti Airtel added 6 lakh new users in July 2017, the data published by industry body COAI showed on Tuesday.
Total mobile customer base of five COAI members that include Aircel and Telenor declined by 37.74 lakh to 82.6 crore in July from 83 crore at the end of June.
"...the extreme financial stress being experienced by the industry currently is likely to show its impact in these numbers. The industry is undergoing a phase of hyper competition and at the moment it is reeling under a debt of over Rs 4.5 lakh crore," COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in a statement.
He said the industry further needs an additional investment of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore for infrastructure roll-out and expansion are required especially in the far flung areas of the country.
The subscriber base of Bharti Airtel reached 28.12 crore in July.
Idea lost the most 23 lakh customers in the month, followed by Vodafone that lost 13.89 lakh customers. Aircel lost 3.91 lakh and Telenor 2.75 lakh customers.
UP (East) circle remained at the top with over 8.41 crore subscribers. It was followed by Maharashtra circle with a total of 7.87 crore mobile subscribers. Bihar was a close third with total 7.62 crore subscribers.
Maharashtra and UP East led in the number of new additions with 5.1 lakh and 4.7 lakh new subscribers respectively, the report said.