The above graph represents the yearly growth of mobile data subscribers in India, starting from 2014 to 2018. India recorded an impressive 36.36% YoY growth in the number of wireless/mobile data subscribers at the year ending 2018. The total wireless data subscribers count reached a record 578.2 million by the end of 2018, compared to 424.02 million by the end of 2017.
|Source||Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)|
|Last Updated||01 October 2019|
|Duration||2014 – 2018|
At the close of the year 2013, there were only 227.91 million wireless data subscribers in the country, which increased to 281.58 million at the end of 2014, with a 23.55% YoY growth.
In December 2015, India’s mobile data subscriber base crossed the 300-million mark for the first time. However, the year-over-year growth in the number of mobile data subscribers was slower than expected i.e. only 7.75%.
The massive adoption of low-price smartphones by Chinese players such as Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi allowed people to carry their digital world with them. Resulting, by the end of 2016, India witnessed significant growth in the number of mobile subscribers and mobile data subscribers. By the end of 2016, about 367.49 million mobile subscribers in India were using their mobile data to stay connected to the digital world. That represents an impressive 21.12% YoY increase.
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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