India’s telecom subscriber base, mobile and landline combined, touched the 1.18-billion mark at the end of February, growing 1.2 percent over the previous month, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Another 13.8 million mobile users were added during the month. Landline phone demand has been dwindling as cheap mobile handsets, coupled with falling rates and freebies, have led to an explosion in cellphone connectivity.
Over the past few months, operators, including newcomer Reliance Jio and incumbents like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, have been doling out attractive offers and unleashing high- decibel marketing campaigns to woo customers. Urban connectivity went up to 692.2 million in February-end, from 681.2 million in January-end, growth of about 1.6 percent. The pace of growth of rural connectivity was slower at 0.6 percent. Rural telecom users increased to 496.4 million from 493.7 million during the period.
The Indian telecom market is second-largest in the world after China in subscriber base. Wireline connections – which have been losing sheen over the past few years – remained flat with subscriber base at 24.4 million. Lesser number of people sought network port outs in February compared to the previous month. ALSO READ: Vodafone-Idea merger contributes $12.7 billion to the telecom sector