Loss-making telco Tata Teleservices surprisingly added more new customers in August than other operators including, latest entrant Reliance Jio, as per TRAI data. Tata Teleservices added close to 49 lakh new mobile customers in August, increasing its total customer base by over 10 per cent to 4.69 crore. The company is in the process of merging its telecom business with telecom major Bharti Airtel. Reliance Jio added close to 41 lakh new customers in August taking its total subscriber base to 13.2 crore, as per monthly subscriber report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. State-run BSNL was at the third spot with an addition of 7 lakh new customers. All other operators, including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, lost mobile customers.
The overall telecom user base in the country declined marginally to 120.9 crore customers with eight mobile operators losing mobile customers — the segment which dominates telephone connections in the country. “Total wireless subscribers declined from 1,186.79 million at the end of July 2017 to 1,185.84 million at the end of August 2017,” TRAI report said. Reliance Communications, which is set to close its mobile operation from December 1, lost 40 lakh customers in the reported month. It was followed by Idea Cellular which lost close to 29 lakh customers.
Vodafone lost 24 lakh customers, Aircel 7.8 lakh, Sistema Shyam 2.1 lakh, Airtel over 2 lakh, Telenor 1.11 lakh and state-run MTNL lost 5,780 mobile customers in August.
The wireline of the landline subscribers declined to 2.37 crore at the end of August 2017 from 2.39 crore at the end of July 2017, as per the report. Despite attractive scheme, landline market leader BSNL lost 1.4 lakh landline customers while Bharti Airtel gained 5,761 new customers. Though their was a dip in overall telecom subscriber base, the broadband segment recorded increase in customer base to 31.64 crore at the end of August from 31 crore at the end of July with a monthly growth rate of 1.81 per cent. “As on August 31, 2017, the top five wireless broadband service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (13.26 crore), Bharti Airtel (5.8 crore), Vodafone (4.35 crore), Idea Cellular (2.94 crore) and Reliance Communications (1 crore),” the TRAI report said.