Experts feel customers are leaving the extra-SIMs to cut the expenses and tariff hikes too
The latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report, India’s telecom subscriber base is decreasing. The February monthly report released on Tuesday shows that the subscriber base declined to 116.6 crores with Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea losing customers. Bharti Airtel was the only net gainer in the mobile segment, according to the subscribers’ data report released by the TRAI for the month of February.
Industry experts feel that after the lockdown, there is a continuous trend by customers is that of leaving the extra-SIMs to cut the expenses. And after the tariff hikes also many customers stopped using their extra-SIMs. When Reliance Jio launched, millions of people subscribed to it due to its free offers and low packages and simply stopped using it after the rates were hiked, they said.
On the other hand, the fixed-line customer base continued to increase with private telecom operators gaining market share while public sector firms — BSNL and MTNL — lost subscribers. “The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,169.46 million at the end of January-2022 to 1,166.05 million at the end of February-2022, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 0.29 percent,” the TRAI report said. The fixed-line subscriber base of private players is increasing due to their good customer service and competitive rates compared to PSU companies, say industry experts.
Mobile subscribers’ base declined across the country except in three circles — UP East, Jammu and Kashmir, and Haryana. February was the third straight month when Reliance Jio lost its mobile customers. The company lost 36.6 lakh mobile subscribers taking its total wireless customer base to 40.27 crores. Vodafone Idea (VI) continued to lose its mobile subscribers. It lost 15.32 lakh mobile subscribers while BSNL and MTNL lost 1.11 lakh and 5,097 such customers, respectively.
Bharti Airtel added 15.91 lakh, new customers, in February. The growth trend in the wireline subscriber base, which picked up after the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, is gaining momentum with private telecom operators driving the growth in the segment. “Wireline subscribers increased from 24.21 million at the end of January-2022 to 24.52 million at the end of February-2022. Net increase in the wireline subscriber base was 0.31 million with a monthly growth rate of 1.27 percent,” TRAI report said.
Reliance Jio led the growth in the wireline segment by adding 2.44 lakh customers. It was followed by Bharti Airtel which added 91,243 customers, Vodafone Idea (24,948), Quadrant (18,622), and Tata Teleservices (3,772). The Government-owned BSNL and MTNL, who jointly have a 49.5 percent share in the segment, lost 49,074 and 21,900 fixed-line customers, respectively.
The broadband subscriber base in the country declined marginally to 78.33 crores in February from 78.34 crores in January. “Top five service providers constituted 98.5 percent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of February-22. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (40.77 crores), Bharti Airtel (21.31 crores), Vodafone Idea (12.19 crores), BSNL (2.67 crores), and Atria Convergence (20.6 lakhs),” said the detailed report of TRAI.
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