New Delhi: The country's telecom subscriber base declined marginally to 89.2 crore in February 2013 from 89.31 crore at the end of January, due to disconnection of inactive mobile numbers, according to data released by Trai.
"The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased to 892.02 million (89.2 crore) at the end of February, 2013 from 893.15 million (89.31 crore) at the end of January 2013, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of -0.13 percent," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said a report.
The subscriber base has seen steady decline since July 2012, which was driven by disconnection of inactive mobile numbers, it said.
Trai, however, said "the decline in the wireless subscriber base, which has been witnessed since July 2012 primarily due to disconnection of inactive mobile subscribers by the telecom service providers, has become gradually less."
The mobile subscriber base in the country declined by 0.11 percent to 86.17 crore at the end of February 2013 from 86.26 crore in January 2013, the regulator said.
The telecom subscriber base had touched an all-time high of 96.55 crore in June 2012.
Telecom operator Uninor witnessed a sharp fall in its mobile subscriber base by losing 83 lakh customers in February. The total customer base of the company dipped by 20.81 percent to 3.17 crore from 4.01 crore in January 2013.
Idea Cellular was biggest gainer in February with the addition of 28.9 lakh new mobile customers followed by Bharti Airtel which added 24.28 lakh new customers, Vodafone 21.86 lakh, Reliance Communications 16.38 lakh and state-run BSNL added 4.29 lakh new mobile subscribers.
Mobile user base of other telecom players- Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Videocon, HFCL, MTNL, Loop Mobile, declined in February, according to Trai.
Share of mobile phone connections declined to 39.50 percent in February from 38.69 percent in January. The share of mobile phone connection in urban area of the country decreased to 60.50 percent in February from 61.31 percent in the month ago.
Over 25 lakh mobile phone customers requested to change their existing operators using Mobile Number Portability services. Till date over 8.68 crore mobile phone customers have changed their operator through MNP facility, according to the Trai report.
The wireline subscriber base in the country declined to 30.36 million in February from 30.52 million in January 2013.
Total broadband subscriber base in February decreased by 0.12 percent to 1.5 crore from 1.501 crore at the end of January 2013.
First Published: Friday, April 19, 2013, 17:43