Telecom subscriber base in India has dropped by 15.66 million to 1,175.01 million in January, even as Reliance Jio continued to lead in gaining subscribers, as per a report by TRAI with data up to January 31. As per the report, the number of total wireless subscribers declined by 15.5 million to 1,151.94 million. Interestingly, Reliance Jio added over 8.3 million subscribers during the month and the number is more than double the number to new subscribers gained by its rivals Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular put together.
"The number of telephone subscribers in India declined from 1,190.67 million at the end of December 2017 to 1,175.01 million at the end of January 2018," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in its monthly subscriber report on Friday. Meanwhile, major telecom operators jointly added over 1.26 crore new customers in January.
Reliance Jio led the market by gaining over 8.3 million subscribers, taking its total customer base to 168.3 million. Telecom major Bharti Airtel had the highest total customer base of 291.6 million but it could add only 1.5 million new subscribers. Meanwhile, Idea added 1.1 million new customers, taking its base to 197.6 million, Vodafone added 1.28 million, taking its base to 213.8 million. State-owned telecom operator BSNL, on the other hand, added 0.39 million, taking its base to 108.3 million by the end of January.
Meanwhile, RCom, which shut down its telecom services in December, lost 21 million subscribers in January. Additionally, Aircel has also lost over 3.4 million subscribers and Tata Teleservices lost 1.9 million of its users. Also, Telenor lost 1.6 million users and MTNL lost just over 10,000 of its users.
The number of broadband subscribers increased to 378.1 million from about 362.87 million. "Top five service providers constituted 94.52 percent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of January 2018. The service providers were Reliance Jio (168.39 million), Bharti Airtel (75.01 million), Vodafone (54.83 million), Idea Cellular (37.33 million) and BSNL (21.81 million)," the report said.
When it comes to the wired broadband service, BSNL leads the market with 9.33 million followed by Airtel with 2.16 million, Atria with 1.29 million, MTNL with 0.90 million and Hathway with 0.74 million.