NEW DELHI: Continuing its upward trend, the Indian telecom industry marked another month of growth by adding 5.68 million mobile subscribers in the mobile telephony market in March 2017.
In the data released by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the association of mobile operators in the country, the number of mobile phone subscribers by the end of March 2017 has reached 895.258 million. This includes subscribers of Reliance Jio Infocomm. Ltd. as of December 2016 (Source: TRAI). Total subscribers by the end of March 2017 (excluding Rjio) have reached 823.10 million. The net increase in subscriber base is 5.68 million in the month of March 2017.
Amongst the telecom companies, Bharti Airtel continues to hold the top position, adding another 3.00 million subscribers during March to take its total subscriber base to 273.65 million subscribers. Airtel is closely followed by Vodafone with 209.06 million subscribers, Idea Cellular with 195.37 million subscribers and Rjio with 72.158 million subscribers. With 33.25% Bharti Airtel continues to own the maximum market share in the industry.
The report, which also assesses the growth of mobile subscribers across various circles in India, said UP East added the maximum number of subscribers (total 75.10 million) in March. Maharashtra came second with 70.63 million mobile subscribers and Bihar coming close third with 70.03 million subscribers. On the other hand, West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands lead in the number of new additions with 0.86 million new subscribers in the month.
Talking about the growth in the subscriber base, Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said, “The telecommunication industry has again posted good growth for the month of March 2017. The growth in the subscriptions indicates that consumer base is expanding and reaching new horizons in the country. We are an enabler of comprehensive growth of the country. The industry has also ensured that government’s Digital India programme reaches the farthest corners of the country and everyone reaps the benefit of new communication technologies.”
He added: “It is heartening to see the increase of subscribers in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, which is far from the mainland. This increase is inspiring us to develop mobile infrastructure in these regions. Connecting citizens translate into empowering citizens, as the mobile is a great instrument for new opportunities. We strive towards an enabled society where every individual is connected and has the opportunity to partake in the economic growth of the country. The industry however is undergoing extreme financial stress and submits that requisite intersections are made at the policy regulatory front for a stable, facilitative long term ecosystem which is conducive for investments, Digital India, Skill India and Make in India.”