The above graph represents the total number of wireline telephone subscribers in India by month. In December 2019, the wireline segment accounted for 1.79% of the total telephone subscriber base in India. Overall, India’s wireline telephone subscriber base declined 21 million in December 2019, from 21.29 million in November 2019.
There is a net decline of 0.29 million in the wireline subscriber base in India, with a monthly decline rate of 1.34%. While annually, India witnessed a notable decline of 3.98% in the wireline telecom segment. Approximately 0.87 million subscribers were lost between December 2018 and 2019.
|Source||Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)|
|Duration||Jan 2009 – December 2019|
In June 2019, the wireline subscribers in India declined to the lowest i.e 20.96 million. A whopping 86.6% of the total wireline subscribers in July 2019 live in India’s urban areas.
In March 2009, the total wireline telephone subscribers in India clocked 37.96 million – the highest-ever till date. However, since then it’s been declining.
As the graph shows, in the last 10 years, India witnessed a massive 16.37 million decline in the number of fixed-line subscribers. The total number of fixed-line subscribers in India declined from a whopping 37.54 million in June 2009 to just 21.17 million in June 2019.
India’s Telecom Industry: Additional Information
India is currently the second-largest country in the world in terms of the number number of mobile subscribers and internet users. While the penetration of internet users in India is still moderate, mobile phone subscribers have almost hit the saturation point with 80% penetration.
The Telecom industry in India is going through consolidation after the debut of Reliance Jio. The government-backed BSNL is struggling and is almost on the verge of collapsing. On the other hand, in order to compete with Reliance Jio that has taken the industry by the storm with its future-ready network, all the top players have shaken hands.
Airtel and Tata Docomo merger paved the way for other companies struggling with declining ARPU and mobile subscriber base. Soon, Vodafone and Idea followed the footmarks and merged together to become the largest telecom provider in India. The celebration, however, was short-lived as Reliance Jio leapfrogged Vodafone Idea by the end of June 2019.
The telecom market in India is divided into three segments – wireless, wireline and internet services.
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