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Indian Mobile Subscriber Base Falls Marginally to 897 mln, Active Subscribers Climb to 83.56%

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Mobile subscriber additions in India seemed to get back on track in March 2013 with addition of over 6 million new subscribers. However, according to TRAI’s new report, it seems to have gone back into negative territory, though only marginal.

In April 2013, Mobiles Subscriber numbers showed a fall of 0.78 million taking the overall tally to 867.02 million. Sistema and BSNL were the biggest losers of mobile subscribers in April 2013

[Click on graph to zoom]

Apr Mobile Subscriber additions

Month of April had over 2 million MNP requests made by subscribers, taking the total of requests made till date to 91.73 million. Nearly 11 percent of all subscribers have made MNP requests till date.

Like I have mentioned previously, the fall in subscribers in past few months were part of cleansing the inactive mobile numbers. This has lead to sharp increase in active subscriber base. The total number of active subscribers by end of April were 724.52 million  or about 83.56 percent of total subscribers.

See the graphic below clearly showing that in last 10 months, the active percentage has increased from 74.5 percent in June 2012 to nearly 83.6 percent in April 2013.

Apr Total vs active subscriber percentage

Telecom Subscription Data Highlights [April 2013]

– With fall of 0.78 million in April 2013, total mobile subscriber base has reduced to  867.02 million. India had 861.80 million subscribers by end of march 2013.

– Urban India witnessed a fall of 0.79 percent or 4.12 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscriber base grew by 3.34 percent or 0.98 mln.

– Urban Teledensity deceased to 139.33 from 140.67 in March, while the rural tele-density grew to 40.59 from previous 40.23.

– Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 60.11% as compared 39.89% of rural subscribers.

2.03 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of April2013, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 91.73 mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base increased from 723.00 mln in March 2013 to 724.52 mln in April 2013 taking the active percentage to 83.56 percent.

–  Broadband Subscription increased to 1.509 crore from previous tally of 1.505 crore.

– Wireline Subscriber base fell to 29.99 mln in April 2013 as compared to previously 30.21 million.

– India’s total telecom subscriber base (wireless+wireline) has decreased to 897.02 mln in April 2013, compared to 898.02 mln in march 2013.

Operator Wise Monthly Additions & Market Share [March 2013]

Apr additions and market share

Vodafone and Idea were the biggest gainers in month of April, with addition of 1.42 mln and 1.28 mln subscribers respectively.

On the other hand state owned BSNL lost over 2.2 million subscribers. Sistema, the company behind MTS brand also lost a sizeable chunk (1.9 million) of their subscriber base in month of April 2013.

Tata’s woes seem to be still not over – They have been loosing subscribers consistently for past nearly a year. At peak in 2011, Tata Docomo had over 11 percent market share, which has come down significantly to just 7.57 percent.

Idea on the other hand has been consistently doing quite well, and are now very near to being 3rd largest mobile operator in India. They have 14.17 percent market share as against 14.27 percent of Reliance.

[Source: TRAI report]

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