Indian Mobile Subscriber Stats: 944M Total, 833M Active, 143M MNP Requests [Dec 14]


TRAI’s December Telecom subscription report is out, and according to it month of December 2014 saw addition of 6.92 million new mobile subscribers. In 2014, December saw 3rd highest growth numbers after Feb and Jan. Unlike, previous 2 years, when many months saw negative growth, in 2014 none of them witnessed fall in subscriptions.

As of December 2014, according to TRAI report, India had 843.97 million subscribers, In the whole year, a total of 57.67 million new subscribers were added. The same figure in year 2013 stood at 23.68 million.

Mobile Subscriber Growth Dec 2014


Active Subscriber Base

Active subscriber base also witnessed a healthy growth, with India now have a total of 833.02 million active subscribers who used their mobile atleast once in last 3 months.

Interestingly, 8.64 million more subscribers were active in December, compared to previous month when the number stood at 824.38 million. The active subscriber percentage now stands at 88.25. Over previous 18 months the active subscribers have risen by over 5 percentage points.

Here is a chart showing Total Vs Active Subscriber Growth.

Total vs active subscriber base Dec 2014

Mobile Subscription Highlights [Dec 2014]

– With an increase of 6.92 mln in December 2014, total mobile subscriber base has reached to  943.97 million. India had 937.06 million subscribers by end of November 2014.

– Urban India witnessed a monthly decrease of 0.67 percent or 3.64 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscriber base increased by 0.84 percent or 3.28 mln.

– Urban India has a total of 550.64 million, while rural India has a total of 393.34 million mobile subscribers.

– Urban Teledensity increased to 142.46 from 141.75 in Nov 14, while the rural tele-density increased to 45.47 from previous 45.13.

Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 58.33% as compared 41.67% of rural subscribers.

3.49 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of Dec 2014, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 142.98 mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base increased from 824.38 mln in Nov 14 to 833.02 mln in Dec 14, taking the active percentage to 88.25 percent.

–  Total Broadband (> 512 Kbps) subscription numbers increased from 82.22 Million at the end of November, 2014 to 85.74 million at the end of December, 2014 with monthly growth rate of 4.28%.


Operator Wise Subscriber Additions [December 2014]

For sixth month in a row, Idea Cellular added maximum number of subscribers to its kitty – 2.583 million to be precise. It was also the only operator to add over 2 million subscribers.

Interestingly, Idea Cellular also had maximum number of active subscribers. They had 101.09 percent active users. While it does not make sense to have over 100% active subscriber base, TRAI reasons that it is because they also have roaming subscribers on their network, who are not originally on Idea Cellular. So essentially close 2 percent users from other networks used Idea Cellular.

Operator Market Share vs Subscriber additions Dec 2014

BSNL once again lost chunk of subscribers (1.3 million) – In last few months, BSNL has lost more than 10 million subscribers from their network, either due to port out or due to inactive subscriber base. Tata Docomo once again showed positive growth after a very long period of negative growth rate.

Bharti Airtel remained the top telecom operator in India with a market share of 23 percent, followed by Vodafone at 18.93 percent and Idea at 15.95%.

Here is how various Telecom Operators have performed since Feb 2014.

Operator Subsscriber Additions 2014

Idea has added most subscribers (16.5M) followed by Vodafone (15M) and Bharti Airtel (12.1M)

Top 8 Mobile Operators in Numbers

# Operator Total Subscriber Count (till Dec 2014)
1 Bharti Airtel 217,215,042
2 Vodafone 178,675,831
3 Idea 150,536,058
4 Reliance 106,294,446
5 BSNL 81,384,517
6 Aircel 78,673,545
7  Tata 66,166,568
8 Telewings / Uninor 43,630,934

[Trai December Report]

  1. […] – With an increase of 8.37 mln in Jan 2015, total mobile subscriber base has reached to  952.34 million. India had 943.97 million subscribers by end of Dec 2014. […]

  2. […] per the latest figures released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), there were 85.74 million broadband subscribers at the end of December 2014, an increase over the 82.22 million subscribers at the end of November, […]

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