Telecom Industry’s active subscribers tally rises by 2.5 million in October: Report

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In the latest report published by ICICI Securities, in October 2020, the telecom industry’s ‘active’ subscriber base touched 961 million after it rose by nearly 2.5 million. User additions benefited from the vanishing impact of SIM consolidation triggered due to the tariff hike. 

Trai’s telecom subscription data revealed that Bharti Airtel’s active subscribers rose to nearly 320 million after a 3 million increase in October 2020, “most of which was driven by total subscriber net adds, thus indicating the improving quality of subscriber addition”. 

In its traditionally weak circles of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Bharti Airtel saw the highest subscriber addition of 0.7 million and 0.5 million, respectively. 

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The reported visitor location register (VLR) is used to calculate the active subscribers. It is a key metric reflecting the number of active users on a mobile network. 

“Industry-active subscriber base expanded by 2.5 million to 961 million. Subscriber addition has benefited from vanishing impact of SIM consolidation triggered from the tariff hike,” the report said. 

The report revealed about rival companies as well, Jio’s active subscribers rose to 319 million in October after a 1.1 million increase while there was a continued decrease in Vodafone Idea Ltd’s (VIL) active subscriber numbers, but at a slower pace; it fell to about 260 million after a 1.2 million decrease in October 2020. 

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Bharti Airtel has regained market leader position by active subscribers, ICICI Securities observed. 

According to data provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), on an overall basis, Airtel added 3.6 million new customers in October. This new addition took its total wireless customer base to 330.3 million in October 2020. 

Also, according to the October data, Airtel was followed by Reliance Jio, which added an overall 2.22 million new mobile customers, taking its total subscriber base to 406.3 million. VIL  and state-owned BSNL and MTNL, on the other hand, reported a loss of subscriber base, on an overall basis.

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