NEW DELHI: The Indian telecom industry marked another month of growth by adding 5.13 million mobile subscribers in the mobile telephony market in July 2017, according to COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India).
COAI, the apex industry association representing the Indian Telecom sector, leading Internet and technology companies in the country, released the latest telecom subscriber numbers, for the month ending July 2017. As per the data, India’s private telecom service providers have a total of 949.74 million subscribers, including those of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. at the end of March 2017 (As per TRAI Data).
Amongst the individual companies, Bharti Airtel Ltd continues to hold the top position, with 29.61% market share, adding another 0.60 million subscribers during July to take its total subscriber base to 281.25 million subscribers. Airtel is closely followed by Vodafone India Ltd, which stands at 210.5 million, while Idea Cellular Ltd. stood at 193.95 million subscribers at the end of July.
The report, which also provides mobile subscriber numbers across individual circles, showed that UP (East) circle remained at the top with total 84.16 million subscribers, while Maharashtra remained at second position with a total of 78.78 million mobile subscribers. Bihar was a close third with total 76.23 million subscribers. Maharashtra and UP East led in the number of new additions with 0.51 million and 0.47 million new subscribers respectively followed by Karnataka with 0.32 million subscribers in July 2017 to end the month at 5.13 million subscribers. Delhi and Mumbai added 96,000 and 1,26,262 subscribers, to end July with 47.17 million and 29.71 million subscribers respectively.
Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI said “The increase of subscribers in Maharashtra, UP East and Karnataka showed that the sector was in a strong position as far as subscriber numbers go, and showed that the increasing investment in infrastructure in those states was showing fruition. However, the extreme financial stress being experienced by the industry currently is likely to show its impact in these numbers. The industry is undergoing a phase of hyper competition and at the moment it is reeling under a debt of over Rs 4.5 lakh crores. The industry further needs an additional investment of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore for infrastructure rollout and expansion are required especially in the far flung areas of the country.”
Mobile connectivity and data services have played a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide and moving India towards a truly equitable and democratic nation. The telecom industry, therefore, deserves an urgent and immediate intervention to encourage policy and regulatory stability, and facilitate growth, innovation and investment.
The industry remains committed towards working for a fully connected and digitally empowered India and furthering the rime Minister’s vision.