Airtel lost its 2.3 million mobile subscribers: COAI report
New Delhi : According to the latest report shared by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Airtel, a leading private telecom company in India has lost 2.3 million mobile subscribers in September 2018.
The report claims that India's private telecom service providers have a combined total of 1017.71 million or about 1.017 billion subscribers, which is about 9.05 million lower than the number from last month.
But, despite of such huge loss, Bharti Airtel continued to hold the top position in the market with a total of 343.52 million subscribers, while Reliance Jio came a distant second with 239.23 million subscribers.
The detailed report from COAI also presented the circle-wise numbers. UP (East) emerged as the biggest telecom circle in the country with a total of 87.53 million subscribers, while Maharashtra circle clocked in 84.7 million. As for type of circle, the report claimed a total of 410 million subscribers in Type B circles, compared to 346.9 million in Type and 106.1 million in metro circles. COAI notes that the figures do not factor in the subscriber base of BSNL, MTNL, Tata, and Reliance Communications.
Airtel has market share of 33.75 percent and currently, it has lost about 2.3 million subscribers compared to August 2018, decline of about 0.68 percent. Reliance Jio came second with a 23.51 percent share. More recent figures however come from Reliance Jio itself, which revealed last month that its total number of subscribers hit 252.3 at the end of September - thus it saw an addition of roughly 13 million subscribers from TRAI's August figures in the month of September. Vodafone saw a slight 2.6 million subscriber decline to finish third at 21.8 percent share, and Idea Cellular lost a substantial 4 million subscribers to reach a market share of about 20.94 percent.
While in case of Vodafone-Idea merger in August 2018, the combined telecom giant now has a market share of about 42.74 percent, taking it to the highest in the country. The subscriber base, according to COAI, stands at a total of over 434 million.
COAI suggests that the telecom industry undergo an intervention to encourage policy and regulatory stability, and facilitate growth, innovation, and investment in the sector.
“The telecom industry is an enabler of comprehensive growth and an empowered society, where every individual gets a chance to partake in the economic growth of the country. The industry has ensured that Government's Digital India programme reaches the farthest corners of the country and everyone reaps the benefit of new communication technologies, "said Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI. "All the operators are committed to their customers with the services across the country, and have begun heavily diversifying their services beyond voice & data for the consumer.”