New Delhi: The country’s telecom subscriber base reached an all-time high of 970 million at the end of December 2014, according to the latest report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 964.20 million at the end of November 2014 to 970.97 million at the end of December 2014," Trai said in the report. This surpasses the previous record of 965.5 million reached in June 2012. Teledensity in the country, which means connection per 100, reached 77.58. The mobile or wireless subscriber base in country is now already at all-time highs after it crossed 935.3-million mark at the end of October 2014. The previous record was set in June 2012 when the mobile subscriber base in the country reached 934 million.

At the end of December, the total mobile subscriber base reached 943.9 million. Of the total wireless subscriber base, 833 million wireless subscribers were active in December 2014. Bharti Airtel has maintained its leadership with 217.2 million mobile customers. It is followed by Vodafone with 178.6 million mobile subscribers, Idea Cellular 150.5 million, Reliance Communications 106.2 million, BSNL 81.3 million, Aircel 78.6 million, Tata Teleservices 66.1 million and Uninor 43.6 million.

Idea Cellular added over 2,500,000 customers, the highest by any company, in December 2014. It was followed by Airtel which added over 1,700,000 new mobile customers, Vodafone about 1,500,000, Telewings (Uninor) 1,200,000, Aircel over 900,000, Tata Teleservices about 600,000, Videocon (including Quadrant) 270,000 and MTNL 22,445 new mobile customers.

New operator Videocon registered the fastest growth rate in its mobile subscribers base and was followed by Telewings. State-run BSNL in the reported month lost 1,300,000 subscribers and Sistema Shyam lost 68,110 customers. Closure of Mumbai-based Loop Mobile business in November also brought down subscriber base by about 700,000. During the reported month, about 3,500,000 subscribers submitted request to change their mobile service provider taking the total number of such requests under Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service to 142.9 million.

Wireline connections further declined to 27 million from 27.1 million in November 2014. The growth in broadband subscribers was also dominated by mobile operators with 69 million customers. The total broadband subscriber base increased by 4.28% on monthly basis to 85.7 million at the end of December from 82 million in November.

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