Driven by growth in mobile phone users, Indian telecom subscribers crossed 101 crore mark in August, as per regulator TRAI data.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,009.31 million at the end of July 2015 to 1,014.70 million at the end of August 2015, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.53 per cent,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in its monthly subscribers report.
The wireless or mobile subscriber base in the country grew by half a per cent to 98.86 crore in August from 98.32 crore in July.
Out of the total wireless subscriber base, 88.59 crore customers were found active.
However, the subscriber base of landline continued its decline despite public sector BSNL and MTNL offering free calling schemes.
The landline or wireline connections declined from 2.61 crore in July to 2.60 crore at the end of August.
The growth in mobile users was led by telecom major Bharti Airtel with net subscriber addition of 13.12 lakh in August, followed by Idea Cellular with 11.67 lakh users, Vodafone 11.27 lakh, Tata Teleservices 8.25 lakh, BSNL 8.12 lakh, Telenor 3.9, Aircel 3.84 lakh Videocon Telecom (with Quadrant) 1.16 lakh and MTNL 18,132.
Sistema Shyam and Reliance Communications, both companies that are in process of consolidation, lost 1.82 lakh and 4.91 lakh users, respectively.
Reliance Communications saw maximum erosion in subscriber base in Bihar where its right to use 900 Mhz spectrum (2G) expires this December.
In the landline segment Bharti Airtel was biggest gainer, while state-run BSNL was biggest loser in August.
The number of broadband subscribers increased to 11.73 crore at the end of August, with monthly growth rate of 3.55 per cent compared to 11.33 crore in July.
In the month of August, a total of 43 lakh subscribers submitted their requests for mobile number portability service taking the cumulative request to 17.22 crore.