The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released figures as part of its Telecom Subscription Data as on December 31, 2012. The figures reveal that the number of telephone subscribers in the country continue to decline. This time it has decreased to 895.51 million at the end of December 2012 from 921.47 million at the end of November 2012 – registering a negative growth rate of -2.82 percent. This fall pattern continued to show in the share of urban subscribers, which fell to 62.20 percent from 62.70 percent. The share of rural subscribers though, rose to 37.80 percent in December 2012.
Moving further, the report found that the total wireless subscriber base in the country has decreased too – from 890.60 million in November 2012 to 864.72 million at the end of December 2012. The regulatory body attributed this fall to the large scale disconnections of inactive SIMs by some service providers. Here too, the share of urban subscribers saw a fall – from 62.19 percent to 61.65 percent. The share of rural subscribers increased from 37.81 percent to 38.35 percent.
Figures aren't impressive (Image credit: Getty Images)
Private operators accounted for 87.83 percent of the wireless market share (based on subscriber base), while BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU operators, accounted for only 12.17 percent of the market share.
Mobile Number Portability, or MNP as it is popularly referred to, continued to post pleasing numbers, according to the report. As per the figures posted by TRAI, by the end of December 2012, roughly 80.06 million subscribers submitted MNP requests to their respective service providers. In MNP Zone-I (Northern & Western India) maximum number of requests came in from Rajasthan (7.59 million) followed by Gujarat (6.94 million) whereas in MNP Zone-II (Southern & Eastern) maximum number of requests have been received in Karnataka (9.90 million) followed by Andhra Pradesh Service area (7.40 million). In the month of December 2012, total number of subscribers who have submitted their request for MNP is 2.94 million.
The wireline subscriber base in the country fell from 30.87 million at the end of November 2012 to 30.79 million at the end of December 2012. TRAI reported that the net reduction in wireline subscriber base was 0.08 million. The share of urban subscribers increased from 77.34 percent to 77.43 percent, while the share of rural subscribers declined from 22.66 percent to 22.57 percent.
Sharing figures in the broadband segment, TRAI revealed that the total Broadband subscriber base in the country has increased from 14.88 million at the end of November 2012 to 14.98 million at the end of December 2012 – registering a monthly growth of 0.67 percent.
The yearly growth in broadband subscribers is 12.62 percent during the last one year (December 2011 to December 2012).
As on December 31, 2012, there are 160 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which are providing broadband services in the country. Out of these, 130 ISPs have provided broadband subscription data for the month of December 2012, for the rest of the ISPs data from previous month has been retained (Data from top 10 ISPs, which constitute 93.16 percent of the total subscriber base, have been received for the month of December 2012). Top five ISPs in terms of market share (based on subscriber base) are: BSNL (9.90 million), Bharti Airtel (1.39 million), MTNL (1.06 million), Hathway (0.37 million) and You Broadband (0.29 million).