Indian Mobile Subscriber Base Declined 20.71 Million In July Over June: Showing Uncertainty In Telecom Sector

Indian telecom industry

The turmoil in Indian telecom sector is clearly visible at this time. It’s the first time ever in the country when mobile subscriber baseline declined. Indeed, it reveals the uncertainty in the telecom sector and it’s the time for ministry of information and broadcasting to frame a robust policy in order to sustain the growth rate of the telecom industry.

As per the data of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the mobile subscriber base (telecom) slipped to 944.81 million in July from 965.52 million in June 2012. India added 4.72 million new wireless subscribers in June, a 0.51% month-over-month growth.

It’s clear that the country’s total mobile subscriber base decline by 20.71 million in July over June 2012. Ironically, Tata Teleservices suffered most in July lost 2.4 million subscribers, taking its baseline to 77.8 million, while Uninor lost 1.1 million subscribers and it had 44.5 million subscribers till the end of July this year.

However, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and BSNL added 1.5 million, 1.2 million, 0.455 million and 0.47 million new subscribers in July 2012 respectively.  Till the end of July this year, Bharti Airtel was at the top with 188.8 million subscribers, followed by Vodafone with 154.9 million, Idea Cellular with 154.9 million and BSNL with 98.75 million subscribers.

See the stats for further information:

Why Subscriber Base Declined In July 2012?

The decline in subscriber base is due to large scale disconnection of non-active subscribers by some operators including Reliance, Tata Docomo and MTNL. In addition to these, the downfall occurred due to few operators like STel and Etisalat went out of the business.

Somehow the Supreme Court’s order also played a dramatic role in the decline of subscribers base to some operators like Uninor and more. It’s well-known that Honorable Supreme court of India cancelled all 122 licenses in February this year due to irregularities in the 2G spectrum auction.

Last week, I described how new foreign players kept themselves away from the pre-bid conference for 2G spectrum auction. Apparently, the representatives of department of telecom were unable to reply majority of queries asked by the operators during pre-bid conference in the last week. Moreover, if the new proposal prepared by the department of telecom won’t be re-framed, then it could bring commotion inside the telecom industry. It’s important for the country to have concrete telecom policy because the sector plays an important role in country’s GDP—Indian telecom sector showed off 12% year-over-year growth in gross revenue for fiscal 2012.

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