Mobile phone connections in India have reduced by over 58 million in April 2018, according to a release issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). India has a total of 1,147 million phone connection subscribers, of which 1,125 million are wireless connection subscribers, with a reduction of 58.3 million for April 2018.
A key reason for the drop can be put down to the reduction of Aircel‘s subscriber base to zero post the company’s filing of bankruptcy proceedings. Aircel’s entire subscriber base of 74.2 million in March has been reduced to nil in April. If this anomaly is discounted, the subscriber base on all of the other providers continues to grow, as more and more areas are brought under connectivity.
Apart from Aircel’s dramatic reduction, Vodafone India, Telenor and Tata Teleservices also have seen drops in subscriber base. Meanwhile, Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio continue to see growth, while BSNL has also registered slight growth to its subscriber base.
As of April 30, 2018, Bharti Airtel is the largest telecom operator in the country, with 308.7 million subscribers. Reliance Jio has just under 200 million subscribers, but this number is expected to have crossed 200 million as the company continues to add subscribers faster than other operators month-on-month. Vodafone India and Idea Cellular’s expected merger will make the combined entity the largest operator in the country by subscribers when it goes through.
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Interestingly, 6.7 million subscribers opted for mobile number portability to change operators while retaining their number, and active mobile subscribers were reported at 1.01 billion. Wired connections also saw negative growth, as more users are opting for wireless connections. While teledensity is high at 86.52 wireless connections per 100 people, it’s worth noting that a lot of individuals have multiple connections and the number of individuals with mobile connections is notably less that the reported figure of over 1 billion.