New Delhi: Driven by mobile connections, the country's telecom industry added over one million users in March, taking the total number of subscribers to 933 million, as per latest data released by telecom regulator TRAI.
“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 931.95 million at the end of February, 2014 to 933.00 million at the end of March, 2014, thereby showing a monthly growth of 0.11 per cent,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in its report on subscription data for March 2014.
Mobile telephony continued to be growth driver of the industry with net addition of new subscribers standing at 1.15 million, taking total wireless subscriber base to 904.51 million.
There was a clean-up of about 7 million inactive customers by Reliance Communications from its network. Even after this deletion, Reliance Communications remained fourth position in terms of its total subscriber base that stood at 110 million.
Fixed line subscriber base, however, marginally declined from 28.59 million at the end of February 2014 to 28.49 million at the end of March 2014.
The data reported by service providers indicates that rural India is emerging as the growth driver. Mobile services subscriber base in rural areas increased to 377.73 million in March from from 374.96 million in February.
On the other hand, subscription in the urban areas declined to 555.26 million from 556.99 million during same period.
Idea Cellular continued to be the top player in terms new subscriber additions for the second month in a row. The company added 2.2 million new customers, taking its total subscriber base to 135.78 million at the end of March 2014. In the month before, it had added 3.3 million.
Idea in March was followed by Vodafone which added over 2.21 million new customers, Airtel 1.89 million, Aircel 1 million, Uninor (Telewings) 0.71 million, Videocon (including Quadrant) 0.32 million and Sistema 0.24 million.
Besides RCom, the subscriber base of state-run BSNL declined by 0.18 million, Tata Teleservices 0.14 million, MTNL 0.13 million and Loop Mobile about 40,000.
Out of the total 904.51 million wireless subscribers, 790.87 million were found active in March.
At the end of reported month, request by consumers to shift to other mobile network under mobile number portability facility increased by 2 million and the number of total requests reached 117 million.
Broadband connections registered a phenomenal growth of 4.95 per cent with net addition of 2.87 million subscribers.
The total broadband user base reached 60.87 million in March from about 58 million in February.
Wireless broadband connections dominated the segment with about 45.61 million subscribers compared to 14.86 million fixed line broadband subscribers.