Indian Mobile Subscribers fall by 2.1 mln to 862.62 mln in Jan 2013!


TRAI today released their monthly telecom subscriber data report for January 2013 and for 7th straight month Indian mobile subscriber numbers witnessed a fall. While it was not as severe as December 2012 (when it lost 25 mln), Jan 2013 witnessed a fall of 2.1 million taking the total tally to 862.62 million.

As I mentioned in the previous month’s report, the fall is not necessarily due to subscribers ditching off their numbers, but mostly due to inactive numbers been taken off the charts that were previously counted.

Indian Mobile Subscribers January 2013

The number that needs to be closely looked at is the active mobile numbers (used atleast once in 3 months) and that has been relatively steady over past 6 months and has been showing Marginal growth. See the graphic given below that will give you an idea of active subscribers vs total subscribers as reported by TRAI. The good thing is that in last 8 months, active subscriber base has grown by close to 8 percentage points. The numbers that are being reported now are now closer to reality!

Mobile Subscribers - Total Vs Active percentage

Telecom Subscription Data Highlights [January 2013]

– With fall of 2.1 million in January 2013, Indian total mobile subscriber base has reached 862.62 million. India had 864.72 million subscriber by end of December 2012.

– Urban India witnessed a fall of 0.80 percent or 4.24 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscribers in India grew by 0.65 percent or 2.14 mln.

– Urban Teledensity fell to 142.10, while the rural tele-density grew to 39.26 from previous 39.04.

– Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 61.31% as compared 38.69% of rural subscribers

4.20 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of January 2013, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 84.26 mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base increased from 701.60 mln in Dec 2012 to 708.00 mln in Jan 2013 taking the active percentage to 82.08.

–  30 thousand new Broadband subscribers were added in month of Jan 2013 taking total tally to 1.501 crore.

– Wireline Subscriber base fell to 30.52 mln in Jan 2013 as compared to previously 30.79 million.

– India’s total telecom subscriber base (wireless+wireline) has fallen to 893.15 mln in December, compared to 895.51 mln in Dec 2012.

Operator Wise Monthly Additions & Market Share [Jan 2013]

Monthly  additions vs market share

Idea added maximum number of mobile subscribers (2.453 Mln) in the month of Jan 2013 followed by Bharti (2.286 mln). Over last 12 months, Idea seems to have benefitted the maximum due to mobile number portability, whereas Tata Docomo and Reliance seems to have fared the worst.

Tata (-1.88 mln), Aircel (-1.78 mln), Unitech (-1.40 mln) and Videocon (-1.38 mln) all witnessed major subscriber fall in January 2011.

Since Jan 2012, Reliance market share has fallen by nearly 3 percentage points. They had 16.79 percent of Indian market share in Jan 2012 and were 2nd largest telecom provider in India. Similarly, Tata’s market share around that time was around 10 percent which has now fallen to 7.85 percent. On the other hand Idea and Bharti have both increased their market share by nearly 2 percent points.

[TRAI report]

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