Home >News >India >Wireless subscriptions decreased by 5.61 mn in May, shows Trai data
The decline in the number of subscribers in May follows the trend in April, which witnessed a loss of 8.2 million subscribers. (iStock)
The decline in the number of subscribers in May follows the trend in April, which witnessed a loss of 8.2 million subscribers. (iStock)

Wireless subscriptions decreased by 5.61 mn in May, shows Trai data

Bharti Airtel and Voda Idea lost 4.7 mn wireless users each in May, while Jio gained 3.7 mn users in the same month

NEW DELHI : Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd lost 4.7 million wireless users each in May, while Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd added 3.7 million users in the same month, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data released on Wednesday.

The number of wireless subscribers, including 2G, 3G and 4G, declined by 0.5% in May, indicating the large-scale migration of workers from urban to rural areas due to covid-led lockdowns.

According to the telecom regulator, total wireless subscriptions decreased by 5.61 million in May.

In urban areas, the number of wireless users fell from 629 million at the end of April to 620 million as of 31 May, while it increased in rural areas from 520 million in April to 523 as of 31 May. This led to a 0.70% monthly growth in rural wireless subscriptions.

The decline in the number of subscribers in May follows the trend in April, which witnessed a loss of 8.2 million subscribers.

According to analysts, telecom operators have lost subscribers in the June quarter due to a massive shift of population from urban to rural areas, job losses, and deactivation of connections by those having multiple SIM cards.

Besides Jio, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) added 201,593 subscribers in May, Trai data showed.

Trai recorded 2.98 million requests for mobile number portability (MNP) in May. “With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 488.23 million at the end of April to 491.21 million at the end of May, since the implementation of MNP," Trai said.

The landline network also lost subscribers during May. Total fixed-line subscribers fell from 19.92 million at the end of April to 19.77 million as of 31 May.

The government has been trying to push for robust fixed-line infrastructure that will speed up connectivity and enable 4G services in remote areas.

Trai chairman R.S. Sharma said last week that the country needs to ramp up its broadband infrastructure as wireless networks still have issues of “reliability and continuity".

The government should use cable television networks to build broadband infrastructure, he added.

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