So the trend continues – This is 5th straight month when Mobile subscriptions have fallen – and pretty sharp fall at that. I have covering mobile subscriber addition data since 2007, and this must be probably lowest that I have witnessed.
According to the latest report released by TRAI – India added mere 6.67 million mobile subscribers in the month of July 2011 taking total tally to 858.57 million . I am having hard time believing that in mere 4 months, India’s mobile subscriber growth has dropped to a third. In March over 20 million subscribers were added and just 4 month later only 6.67 million ?
And if you are thinking it is because mobile tariffs have increased, it is wrong, as it did not happen till August when Airtel announced increase in the call rates by around 20 percent!
Monthly Mobile Subscription Fall
Indian Telecom Subscriber Data for July 2011
- India now has 858 million mobile subscribers at end of July 2011.
- India’s overall Tele-density has reached to 74.44 % at the end of July 2011 as compared to 73.97 in the June.
- The overall Urban tele-density has increased from 163.13 to 163.83 and Rural tele-density increased from 35.60 to 35.93.
- The overall Mobile Tele density in India reaches 71.59.
Telecom Operator wise Mobile Subscriber Additions [July 2011]
Tata’s Drastic Subscriber Fall
I am not sure but seems like Tata is loosing mobile subscribers in chunks. In May 11, Tata managed a 2.93% additions, in June 11, just 1.91% and this month they in fact lost subscribers.
According to TRAI data, in June, Tata had 90.99 Million subscribers which fell to 88.31 Million in July 2011 – A loss of 2.68 million subscribers, which is really huge!
I am really not sure what to make of this – It is not possible that subscribers are suddenly running away from Tata. Its not that their service has suddenly gone bad or something. It most probably is some accounting error (or a previous error which they are trying to fix). And yes, MNP is not the reason – I am sure of that…
Mobile Number Portability Numbers
As of July 2011, about 15.55 million subscribers have requested to different service providers for porting their mobile numbers. An increase of over 5 million MNP request over previous month (10.57 mln were made by end of June11)
One of the reasons for fall in subscribers may also be due to MNP requests. Previously, mobile subscribers could not move to new operator without changing the number so they had to take a new connection – but with introduction of MNP, most subscribers will just keep their numbers – So they will not be showing up new subscriber addition list.
Even then, that could be reason only for fraction of new subscribers, but such a huge fall does have some other reasons as well.
What is more perplexing for me though is fall in Tata’s connections – that is incomprehensible. Let us know if you are aware of the reasons behind it!