Reliance Jio responsible for bulk of new mobile connections: TRAI report

A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past a mobile store of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India.

In a monthly report, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed that out of the more than 1.26 crore new telephone customers in the month of January, 83 lakhs were added by Reliance Jio alone. That accounts for 65.8% of the total number of connections.

Besides Jio, Bharti Airtel added 15 lakh new connections, followed by Vodafone which added 12.82 lakh new customers, Idea Cellular with 11.44 lakh new connections and BSNL with 3.96 lakh new customers.

However, the total telecom subscriber base dipped to 117.5 crore at the end of January with smaller operators losing bulk of their customers, according to the report.

“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, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 1.32%,” said the TRAI report.

The mobile subscriber base declined to to 115.19 crore at the end of January 2018 from 1,16.74 crore at the end of December 2017, down 1.33%.

RCom, which closed its mobile phone calling services in December, lost 2.1 crore customers in January. Aircel, which has filed plea for bankruptcy, lost over 34 lakh customers. It was followed by Tata Teleservices which lost 19 lakh customers, Telenor lost 16 lakh customers and state-run firm MTNL suffered a loss of 10,634 customers.

The wireline telephone customer base declined to 2.3 crore at the end of January 2018 from 2.32 crore at the end of December 2017.

State-run BSNL lost 1.15 lakh landline customers. It was followed by RCom which lost 41,720 wirelines customers, MTNL lost 10,907 customers, Quadrant – 2,765, Aircel – 2,219 and Tata Teleservices – 797. Bharti Airtel gained 5,925 new landline customers.

The broadband segment, however, witnessed growth in January.

The number of broadband subscribers increased to 37.81 crore at the end of January this year, from 36.28 crore at the end of December 2017 a monthly growth rate of 4.2%.

Mobile broadband segment dominated the growth with 35.98 crore customers in January compared to 34.45 customers in December 2017.

“Top five service providers constituted 94.52% market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of Jan-18. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (16.83 crore), Bharti Airtel (7.5 crore), Vodafone (5.48 crore), Idea Cellular (3.73 crore) and BSNL (2.18 crore),” the report said.