Coronavirus Forced 1.7 Cr Mobile Users To Quit; But Rural Users Increased, Find Out Why?
The COVID-19 resultant lockdowns caused the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) a loss of 1.7 crore wireless (mobile) subscribers in the period from April to June with a quarterly decline rate of 1.47%.
Despite new additions being recorded in July and August, the count didn’t reach the pre-lockdown period by the end of August.
Read on to learn more…
The Reason For Dip In Subscribers?
According to TRAI, the number of total wireless subscribers dwindled from 115.7 crores at the end of March 2020 to 114 crores at the end of June 2020. While the rural subscriber count has increased the urban subscribers’ count has dropped.
“The major factor was the return of migrant workers to their hometowns and villages, a lot of them stopped recharging their mobiles. Also, the lockdown had an impact on many low-income group families whose mobile usage dipped resulting in a decline in the subscription. However, I think that things would improve from September onwards as things get back to normal,” said Neil Shah, vice president (research), Counterpoint Research.
Wireless teledensity, the number of connections per 100 people, dipped from 85.87 at the end of March to 84.38 at the end of June.
However, in July rural subscribers decreased while urban users increased in both June and July.
“These months saw a lot of businesses shutting down which contributed to the reduction in numbers. Also, many people who earlier had multiple connections did away with additional SIMs and many who had taken additional connections only for data also switched to one network. All these reasons together saw a decline in the numbers,” said Sanchit Vir Gogoia, chief analyst & CEO, Greyhound Research.
Furthermore, the total number of telephone subscribers — wired and wireless — in the country lowered from 117.7 crores at the end of March to 116 crores at the end of June.
In urban areas, the connection count shrank from 65.6 crores at the end of March to 63.6 crores at the end of June.
The first quarter of 2020 had witnessed a marginal increase in subscribers from the quarter that ended in December 2019.
Reliance Jio Was The Only Telecom Operator To Add Subscribers!
Though Reliance Jio added around 1 crore new subscribers in the quarter that ended in June, the count was not enough looking at how much other telcos lost subscribers.
As per reports, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL together lost more than 2.6 crore subscribers while MTNL also saw a dip in subscribers.
However, in August 2020, Airtel, Jio, and BSNL together saw over 37 lakh new subscribers while Vodafone lost over 12 lakh subscribers.