Reliance Jio continued to increase its subscriber base in December as other major telecom operators Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel lost users during the period, data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed on Wednesday.
Reliance Jio added 85.6 lakh subscribers during the month under review, taking its total subscriber base to 28.01 crore.
"Total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA and LTE) increased from 1,171.76 million (117.17 crore) at the end of November 2018 to 1,176.00 million (117.6 crore) at the end of December 2018, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.36 per cent," TRAI said in a statement.
At the end of financial year 2017-18, the overall telecom subscriber base increased to 1206.22 million as compared to 1194.58 million last year, registering an increase of 11.64 million subscribers, TRAI’s annual report stated.
Vodafone Idea, the largest telecom operator in terms of subscribers, lost around 23.32 lakh subscriptions and its base by December-end stood at 41.87 crore.
The total subscriber base of Airtel was 34.03 crore, down 15.01 lakh from November, the data showed.
On region-wise subscription trend, TRAI said that "during the month of December 2018, all service areas except the northeast, showed positive monthly growth in their wireless subscribers".
In its annual report, TRAI stated that there has been an increase in the overall mobile coverage and data usage in the country adding more rural areas to the coverage map. “With increased availability of smart phones at much affordable prices, mobile phone has become more than a communicaƟon device, and services are becoming increasingly linked through mobile, Internet and other digital modes of delivery,” the report stated.
The Internet subscriber base in the country as on March 31, 2018 stood at 493.96 million as compared to 422.19 million the year before that. The total broadband subscriber base of the country as on March 31, 2018 is 412.60 million.