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BSNL adds most users in August, while mobile user base declines to 1.02 billion

State run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) recorded the highest number of wireless user additions in August, ahead of market leader Bharti Airtel, while Reliance Communications lost 18 million users as it moved users to LTE from CDMA network.


According to data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), total wireless subscriber base declined 0.52% to 1,028.88 million at the end of August, from 1,034.23 million in July, as user base in urban and rural areas declined by 0.63% to 585.89 million and by 0.37% to 442.99 million, respectively, in August compared to July.

About 1.84 million new users were added to BSNL’s network, taking the total to over 92 million, making it the fourth largest telco after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, as per August data from TRAI.

Bharti Airtel is No 1 player in India with market share of 25.03% by user base, followed by Vodafone at 19.46% and Idea at 17.19%. BSNL had 8.98% share of the market, the dominant one among PSUs – MTNL has only 0.35% share among a billion phone users.

It was the lowest for Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications since its migration from CDMA to LTE due to which its subscriber base reduced by 18 million during the month of August 2016.

Delhi/NCR region recorded the highest tele-density of 225.49 whereas the lowest was recorded in Bihar at 54.72. However, Delhi showed maximum decline in wireless subscribers while Orissa recorded highest growth rate.

In northern and western India, the highest requests for mobile number portability has been received in Rajasthan followed by Gujarat. In southern and eastern India, the highest requests for MNP has been received in Karnataka followed by Andhra Pradesh.

Wireline subscriber base declined from 24.62 million from the end of July 2016 to 24.51 million by the end of August 2016. BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, held 70.94% of the market share. Bharti Airtel saw the highest additions in the subscriptions in the wireline market share.

Net decline in the wireline subscriber base was 0.11 million with a monthly decline rate of 0.44%. The shares of urban and rural subscribers in total wireline subscribers were 83.91% and 16.09% respectively at the end of August 16.

The number of broadband subscribers increased from 166.96 million at the end of July 2016 to 171.71 million at the end of August 2016 with a monthly growth rate of 2.84%.

Bharti Airtel leads among the wireless broadband service providers with 43.44 million subscribers followed by Vodafone and Idea Cellular. BSNL holds the highest market share in the wired broadband service provider base with 9.84 million subscribers.

However, overall wired and wireless broadband service share at the end of August highest for Bharti Airtel at 26.41% followed by Vodafone and Idea.

The number of telephone subscribers in India declined from 1,058.85 million at the end of July 2016 to 1,053.40 million in August, a monthly decline rate of 0.52%.

The wireless tele-density in India declined from 81.11 at the end of July 2016 to 80.62 at the end of August 2016. The share of urban and rural wireless subscribers in total number of wireless subscribers was 56.94% and 43.06% respectively at the end of August 2016.

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