The subscriber base report for the month of July released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) shows that overall telecom user base of the country dropped by 20.71 million subscribers over June.
"This is the first time we have seen decline in overall subscriber base," a TRAI official told PTI.
The decline in total subscriber base for the first time was led by the wireless segment where users declined by 20.61 million.
The biggest loss in user base came from Reliance Communications that lost 20.48 million users, followed by Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Videocon, Loop and state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).
RCom said the drop is due to removal of inactive customers from its user base.
"With an objective to release the substantial blocked resources of number series and in context of DoT's stringent guidelines on issuance of fresh numbers, RCom has decided to deactivate the inactive prepaid subscribers who have not had any usage in the last 60 days," a RCom spokesperson said.
The total subscriber base of RCom declined to around 134 million in July from over 154 million in June.
Tata Teleservices lost over 2.4 million wireless customers, Uninor lost over 1 million subscribers, Videocon 0.41 million, Loop Mobile and state-run MTNL each lost around 0.15 million subcribers in July.
No immediate comments from these companies were received.
Bharti Airtel, however, lead the growth in mobile subscribers in July by adding over 1.5 million new customers, taking its total subscriber base to over 188 million.
Vodafone added over 1.2 million users, taking its total subscriber base to over 154 million. Idea Cellular, Aircel, Sistema Shyam and HFCL added 0.45 million, 0.28 million, 0.16 milion, and 23,000 new users respectively in July. State-run BSNL added 0.47 million subscribers in July.