COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), the apex industry association representing the country’s major Telecom, Internet, Technology and Digital Services companies, released the latest telecom subscriber numbers, for the month ending October 2017. As per the data, India’s private telecom service providers have a total of 953.80 million subscribers. The data also includes the figures of Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) by the end of August 2017 (Source: TRAI).
Amongst the individual companies, Bharti Airtel Ltd continues to hold the top position, with 29.90% market share, adding another 3.15 million subscribers during October, to take its total subscriber base to 285.20 million subscribers. Airtel is closely followed by Vodafone India Ltd, which ended October with 208.32 million subscribers, while Idea Cellular Ltd stood at 190.87 million subscribers at the end of the tenth month of the year.
The report, which also provides mobile subscriber numbers for individual circles, showed that UP (East) circle remained at the top with total 83.62 million subscribers, while Maharashtra remained at second position with a total of 79.48 million mobile subscribers.
Talking about the increase in the subscriber base, Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said, “Our vision and aim is to bring mobile connectivity to every corner of the country, so it is encouraging to see more cities mounting a sizeable mobile customer base. This will help accelerate our journey towards a fully connected and empowered Digital India.”
Speaking about the impact made by the telecom industry, he added, “The telecom industry is contributing significantly to the Indian economy, and is driving its growth holistically. The industry has also ensured progress towards the realisation of government’s policy & plans, such as its vision for Digital India, in a manner that connectivity reaches the farthest corners of the country and benefits everyone. We envision an enabled and empowered society where every individual gets a chance to partake in the economic growth of the country.”
Mobile connectivity and data services have played a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide and moving India towards a truly equitable and democratic nation. The telecom industry, therefore, deserves an urgent and immediate intervention to encourage policy and regulatory stability, and facilitate growth, innovation and investment in the sector in view of the mounting financial debt and debilitating financial health of the industry.
The industry remains committed towards working for a fully connected and digitally empowered India and, furthering the Hon Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India.