The above graph represents the number of rural telephone subscribers in India by month. Approximately 43.5% of India’s total telephone subscriber base belong to rural areas. The total rural subscription in India increased 0.02% month-on-month in December 2019, to 509.99 million.
|Source||Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)|
|Duration||Jan 2011 – December 2019|
The total telecom subscribers include the wireless and wireline subscribers in India.
The wireless/mobile subscribers in India’s rural areas increased from 507.26 in November 2019 to 507.46 million in December 2019 – representing 0.04% M-o-M growth.
On the other hand, the wireline subscribers in rural areas declined from 2.63 million to 2.53 million during the same period. That’s representing a notable decline of 3.9% M-o-M.
It is important to note that March 2017 was the very first time when the total number of rural telephone subscribers in India crossed the 500-million mark. Nearly 52.45 million new subscribers were added between March 2016 and 2017.
In December 2018, the total mobile subscriber count from rural India grew 0.46% M-o-M to 528.48 million – the highest-ever till date.
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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