The above graph represents the monthly distribution of the total number of telephone subscribers in India by type – wireless and wireline. The number of telephone subscribers in India reached 1175.88 million in November 2019, showing a monthly decline of 2.4%. The wireless segment accounted for 98% of the total subscriber base in the country.
|Source||Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)|
|Duration||Jan 2009 – November 2019|
The wireless telephone subscribers in India (includes GSM, CDMA & LTE) declined 2.4% M-o-M in November 2019, to 1,154.59 million.
On the other hand, the number of wireline telephone subscribers in India declined 0.7% M-o-M to 21.29 million during the same month.
One must note that India’s wireline telephone subscriber count hit a record low in July 2019. As the graph shows, in the last 10 years, India’s wireline telephone subscriber base declined from 37.41 million in July 2009 to just 20.96 million in July 2019.
It was the first time in October 2015 when the number of mobile subscribers in India crossed 1,000-million mark. The mobile customer base grew from over 996.66 million in September 2015 to 1,003.49 million in October 2015. That’s a 0.69% month-over-month growth and a notable 7.28% year-over-year growth.
On the other hand, the wireline subscriber base has been declining since April 2009. In March 2009, there were 37.96 million wired telephone subscribers in India, which declined to 36.96 million in March 2010 and 34.73 million in March 2011. The wireline subscriber count further declined from 28.49 in March 2014 to 26.59 in March 2015.
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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