The troubled telecom operator, Vodafone-Idea (VIL), continues losing its subscribers consecutively for 21 months and recorded a loss of 24.71 lakh subscribers in December alone, the monthly data shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on Thursday.
State-owned BSNL’s subscribers also continue to decline and lost more than 8.76 lakh customers in December.
Whereas, Bharti Airtel (Airtel) and Reliance Jio (Jio) continue to ride on the losses of VIL by adding more subscribers. While Jio added around 17.09 lakh subscribers in December, Airtel added 15.26 lakh wireless subscribers in the same month, the TRAI data showed.
Total wireless subscribers decreased to 1,142.93 million at the end of December 2022, from 1,143.04 million at the end of November, thereby registering a monthly decline rate of 0.01 per cent, the sector regulator said.
“Wireless subscriptions in urban areas increased from 626.60 million at the end of November to 627.03 million at the end of December 2022. However, wireless subscriptions in rural areas decreased from 516.45 million to 515.89 million during the same period. Monthly growth rates of urban and rural wireless subscriptions were 0.07 per cent and -0.11 per cent respectively,” it said.
In terms of wireline subscribers, it has increased from 27.13 million at the end of November to 27.45 million at the end of December. The net increase in the wireline subscriber base was 0.32 million with a monthly growth rate of 1.18 per cent. The share of urban and rural subscribers in total wireline subscribers were 92.35 per cent and 7.65 per cent, respectively, at the end of December 2022, it said.
Overall, the number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,170.18 million at the end of November to 1,170.38 million at the end of December, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.02 per cent, the TRAI data indicated.
In terms of broadband subscribers, it grew marginally to 832.2 million in December from 825.38 million in November, with mobile devices accounting for 798.69 million customers in the segment, TRAI added.