Mobile services see recovery in rural markets

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on September 24, 2021

BL15_P9_PHONE   -  M Srinath

Rural mobile subscribers grew by 0.41 per cent to 536.74 million in July

Rural markets finally start to show recovery from the second wave-induced subscriber decline for both telephones as well as wireless subscribers in July, after a three-month stint of subscriber decline from April to June. Reporting a positive growth rate, the rural market boasted a monthly growth rate of 0.42 per cent for telephone subscribers, with telephone subscribers increasing in the hinterlands from 536.47 million at the end of June 2021 to 538.70 million at the end of July 2021. Rural wireless subscribers also grew by 0.41 per cent , from 534.54 million to 536.74 million in July. The data was provided by the telecom monthly subscription rate reports released by the regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI.

Before the onset of the deadly second wave of Covid19, rural and urban subscribers for telephone and wireless were growing steadily. The monthly growth rates of urban and rural telephone subscriptions were 0.92 per cent and 1.37 per cent respectively during March 2021. While for wireless subscriptions growth rates for urban and rural were 0.93 per cent and 1.38 per cent respectively. April onwards, coinciding with the second wave; growth rates became muted for April, at 0.06 per cent and 0.32 per cent growth for wireless subscribers in urban-rural markets respectively; and 0.08 per cent and 0.32 per cent growth for telephone subscribers.

The month of May saw declines all around, with telephone subscriptions saw a decline of 0.53 per cent and 0.27 per cent for urban and rural respectively. Wireless subscribers reported an urban and rural decline of 0.70 per cent and 0.33 per cent, during that period. Meanwhile, June is when the urban market began to show some recovery, reporting 0.80 per cent growth in telephone subscriptions and 0.81 per cent growth in wireless subscriptions. The rural market on the other hand was reporting a decline of 0.23 per cent and 0.22 per cent for telephone and wireless subscriptions respectively during June. July has been the first month after three months where the rural subscriber base has begun to grow.

The telecom subscription report for July also reported, 10.99 million subscribers submitted their requests for Mobile Number Portability (MNP). With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 605.88 million at the end of Jun-21 to 616.87 million at the end of July-21, since the implementation of MNP.

The number of active wireless subscribers in July 2021 was 989.34 million.

Published on September 23, 2021

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