More reports on: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Telecom user base rises to 1.2 bn

15 July 2017

India's total telecom subscriber base rose to 1,204.98 million as of May end, a 0.51 per cent rise from 1,198.89 million recorded during the previous month of April.

The total wireless users in the country - GSM, CDMA and LTE rose 0.53 per cent to 1,180.82 million (1,174.60 million) as of May end, according to data collated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The country's urban subscription rose to 697.06 million during the month under review from 695.99 million in April, while rural subscription rose to 507.92 million (502.90).

The monthly growth rates of urban and rural subscription were 0.15 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively, it added.

In May, RJio added 4.78 million new users, recording the fastest growth, with the country's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel in the second slot with 2.09 million new users.

BSNL with 1.3 million new additions was at number three, followed by Vodafone with 1.1 million new users and Idea at number 5 with 1.9 lakh new users.

RJio has recorded net additions of 4.8 million versus 3.9 million in April.

''This suggests a strong response to its Dhan Dhana Dhan (DDD) offer launched in mid-April. The bigger positive was improvement in Jio's visitor location register ratio, which increased to 75.7 per cent in May versus 71.2 per cent in April, implying higher active subscriber base,'' UBS Investment Research said in a note.

''We believe the improvement in subs growth and VLR ratio for Jio, with incumbents generally holding their market shares supports our thesis that large part of Jio's share gains will come at the expense of smaller operators without 3G/4G networks. This also bodes well for pricing environment and is reflected in the recent end of promos from Jio for its postpaid and prepaid pricing plans,'' it added.

The overall tele-density (number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals) in India rose to 93.61 as of May-end from 93.23 as of April 2017.

The urban tele-density remained same at 172.28, whereas rural tele-density rose to 57.55 from 57.02.

During the reporting period, the top five service providers constituted 88.23 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers.

The private telecom service providers held 90.96 per cent of market share of wireless subscribers, while state-owned companies such as BSNL and MTNL held 9.04 per cent of market share.

Bharti Airtel led with a 23.59 per cent, followed by Vodafone India with 17.86 per cent, Idea Cellular with 16.62 per cent, Reliance Jio Infocomm with 9.94 per cent and BSNL with 8.74 per cent.

Aircel came next with 7.68 per cent, Reliance Communications with 6.97 per cent, Telenor with 4.07 per cent, Tata TeleServices with 3.35 per cent, MTS with 0.37 per cent and MTNL with 0.31 per cent were the other players

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