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More than 100 million mobile users in India quit their existing telecom operators: Know why?

In a recent trend, 12% of India's mobile subscriber base switched telecom operators during the 2023 fiscal year, triggering a wave of transformation in the industry.

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: May 26, 2023 11:35 IST
mobile network, service provider, mobile portability, telecom, trai, mobile users, sim
Image Source : FREEPIK More than 100 million mobile users in India quit their existing telecom operators: Know why?

In the fiscal year 2023, more than 100 million mobile phone subscribers in India took advantage of the mobile number portability feature to change their telecom operator, as per data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). This figure accounts for approximately 12 percent of India's total mobile subscriber base and indicates a significant shift in consumer preferences within the telecom industry.

According to the report of Kotak Institutional Equities, an average of 10 million mobile subscribers ported their numbers each month in FY23, resulting in a cumulative total of 121 million instances of number porting throughout the fiscal year. The data suggest that subscribers were drawn to switch operators due to the low-ticket prepaid plans. 

While the participation of all operators in this practice results in a net zero effect on subscriber numbers, it has led to an unnecessary increase in customer acquisition costs. 

However, a recent rural survey conducted by IIFL, a leading financial services company, indicates a potential downtrend in overall subscriber churn in the upcoming months. The survey, conducted in Mumbai and nearby rural and semi-urban districts, reveals that operators are implementing more disciplined approaches to acquiring subscribers. 

The reduction in trade payouts on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and new SIM activation is cited as a significant contributing factor, with telcos adjusting their payouts based on their strengths and weaknesses in specific micro-markets.

As per the report, the Indian telecom landscape continues to witness dynamic changes, with subscribers switching operators to capitalize on attractive plans and incentives, the telecom operators are being compelled to refine their strategies for customer acquisition and retention. 

The industry's focus on reducing customer acquisition costs and enhancing subscriber satisfaction remains paramount, paving the way for a more competitive and customer-centric telecom environment in India.

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