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Mobile phone user base rises in Jan after four months of decline: Trai data

Vodafone Idea user base shrinks by 1.35 million; Jio cements lead with the addition of 1.65 million subscribers



Subhayan Chakraborty New Delhi

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The number of mobile phone users in India rose in January after four straight months of decline, latest data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) showed.

Users had reduced by 110,000, 600,000, 1.82 million and 3.66 million in the four previous months.

In three of these four months, the decline had been concentrated in rural areas. The number of users in India's vast rural hinterland had fallen by 560,000 in December, two million in November and 3.7 million in September.

The latest data also showed wireless subscription in rural areas at the end of January remained the same (515.89 million) as the previous month.

Meanwhile, the number of users in cities rose by 100,000 in the latest month, after rising by 1.03 million in December, and 1.42 million in November.

Voda Idea shrinks

Subscribers continued to leave Vodafone Idea, which saw its user base shrink by 1.35 million, after losing 2.4 million in December. The company had been losing a large number of subscribers every month for the past seven months. It lost 1.8 million, 3.5 million and 4 million subscribers in November, October, and September, respectively.


Reliance Jio cemented its lead in the Indian telecom market, gaining 1.65 million subscribers in January, after the 1.7 million rise in subscribers in December. Before this, the company had made 1.4 million additions in the previous two months.

However, Jio's pace of adding new customers has slowed since August when it got 3.2 million of them.

Bharti Airtel's subscriber count also continued to swell. The company' additions stood at 1.28 million in January, albeit lower than the 1.5 million subscriber addition in December.

Bharti Airtel had added 1.05 million, 0.8 million and 0.4 million subscribers in the November, October, and September, respectively.

State-owned BSNL and MTNL lost 1.49 million and 2960 wireless customers, respectively.

Jio had the highest user base in the country, at 426.1 million as of January 31, followed by Airtel at 368.8 million, and Vodafone at 239.9 million.

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First Published: Mar 31 2023 | 4:09 PM IST

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