Gujarat loses over 18 lakh mobile numbers in March, but Jio adds 5.71 lakh and BSNL adds 43,000 numbers

New Delhi: Mobile subscriber base of telecom operators in Gujarat shrunk by 18.23 lakh in March over February in 2019, reveals subscription report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). The total mobile subscription number in Gujarat in February was 7.11 crore, which fell to 6.92 crore in March.

Only Reliance Jio and BSNL witnessed growth of 5.71 lakh and 43,000 numbers, respectively. While, Vodafone Idea witnessed fall of 15.73 lakh, followed by Airtel with loss of 7.93 lakh numbers in state in the month. Together, Vodafone Idea and Airtel lost 23.66 lakh numbers in state in the month, reveals Trai report released on Tuesday.

Nationally, Airtel lost over 1.51 crore numbers while Vodafone Idea lost 1.45 crore customers. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel together shed 2.96 crore users by March-end compared to February. During the same period, only Jio witnessed growth of 94 lakh users. Unfortunately, India’s total wireless subscriber base fell to 116.18 crore on March 31, 2019, shedding 2.18 crore users over the previous month.

The overall tele-density in India declined to 90.11 at the end of March, from 91.86 in February. According to TRAI, the wireless subscriber base of Vodafone Idea at the end of March 2019 was 39.48 crore. The company in its quarterly results for the last quarter of 2018-19 had shown the total user base at 33.41 crore.

Bharti Airtel’s mobile subscriber base was 32.51 crore, and that of rival Reliance Jio was 30.67 crore as on March 2019. Total wireless subscribers declined from 118.36 crore at the end of Feb-19 to 116.18 crore at the end of Mar-19, thereby registering a monthly decline rate of 1.85 per cent.

The wireless subscription in urban areas declined to 65.04 crore in March end from 65.65 crore in February end, and rural user base also plunged to 51.13 crore from 52.71 crore during the period.

Market analysts noted that in certain cases, the subscriber tally difference between regulator’s data and those cited by the companies is because of the different measurement used for computing wireless subscribers base.

The customers base of Reliance Jio owned by richest Indian Mukesh Ambani was 30.67 crore as on March 2019, against 29.72 crore as on February. Overall, India’s broadband subscriber base rose to 56.31 crore in March, swelling 2.37 per cent over the previous month.

Jio notched the highest broadband subscriber base of 30.67 million, followed by Airtel (11.46 crore), Vodafone Idea (11.02 crore) and state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (2.21 crore). Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel – whose financials have been battered by intense price competition posed by Reliance Jio – have resorted to minimum recharge plans, consciously cleaning off plain vanilla, low-value subscribers.