The telecom subscriber base in the country declined marginally to 116.94 crore in January this year, mainly due to the loss of a whopping 93.22 lakh mobile phone users by the largest telecom service provider Reliance Jio, the latest data released by TRAI said on Wednesday.
The country had 117.84 crore telecom subscribers in December 2021.
There was a decline in the number of subscribers across most of the telecom circles, except in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir.
Bharti Airtel was the only net gainer with the addition of 7.14 lakh users of its mobile services.
Reliance Jio was the biggest loser in the mobile services segment in January as it lost 93.22 lakh customers, said the monthly subscriber report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Mobile or the wireless segment accounts for about 98 per cent of the total telecom subscriber base in the country.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,178.41 million (117.84 crore) at the end of December 2021 to 1,169.46 million (116.94 crore) at the end of January,2022, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 0.76 per cent,” the TRAI report said.
The number of wireless subscribers decreased by 0.81 per cent to 114.52 crore at the end of January from 115.46 crore at the end of December.
Vodafone Idea lost 3.89 lakh wireless subscribers, BSNL 3.77 lakh and MTNL 431.
Jio, however, was the biggest gainer in the wireline segment. The company added 3.08 lakh new customers.
“Wireline subscribers increased from 23.79 million at the end of December ’21 to 24.21 million at the end of January ’22,” the report said.
Reliance Jio was followed by Bharti Airtel which added 94,010 customers, BSNL 32,098 and Quadrant which added 16,749.
MTNL was the biggest loser of wireline subscribers in January. The company lost 23,475 customers.
RCom, Tata Teleservices, and Vodafone Idea also lost wireline customers.
The broadband subscriber base also declined in the country.
“The total broadband subscribers decreased from 792.08 million at the end of December ’21 to 783.43 million at the end of January ’22 with a monthly decline rate of 1.1 per cent,” the report said.
Reliance Jio led the broadband segment with the largest subscriber base of 41.12 crore. It was followed by Bharti Airtel with 21 crore broadband subscribers, Vodafone Idea 12.1 crore, BSNL 2.62 crore and Atria Convergence 20 lakh broadband customers, according to the report.