Healthy upswing for number portability!

Siddharth Tak/ZRG

While telcos have lost subscribers showing overall negative growth during July to September quarter this fiscal, number portability perked up during the same time with the month of August when record 5.61 million subscribers opted for the scheme.

The wireless story in India suffered a setback when for the first time in several years as there was negative growth in net subscriber additions during the month of July 2012. The trend has persisted. June end there were about 934.09 million subscribers in the country while at the end of September this year the number dropped to 906.62 million, registering a 27.47 million subscriber fall.

In contrast, the number portability perked up further during the period under review, moving up from 54.33 million June end to 69.78 million end September, registering a growth of 15.45 million in the three month period.

A Zee Research Group (ZRG) study of TRAI data reveals that MNP requests have increased by 70 percent during December 2011 - September 2012 over the first 10 months of introduction of this regime. It was in February 2011 that the MNP regime was officially introduced in the country. However, in the first 10 months of introduction, only 25.84 million consumers made requests to change their operators. Last 10 months witnessed the MNP requests grow by 43.92 million.

The analysis of the overall MNP data suggests that during the last 20 months, total MNP requests increased from 3.83 million in February 2011 to 69.78 million in September 2012. In the period of last ten months starting from December 2011, 8 out of 10 times it was found that the MNP requests figure crossed the 4 million mark.

A month on month study of the data under review shows that the numbers grew from 3.4 million in December 2011 to 3.55 million subscribers in January 2012. This rise continued unabated in February 2012 when for the first time the requests figure crossed the 4 million mark. Furthermore, during the period (March-September) of this calendar, this trend remained intact as more than 4.0 million requests was placed each on monthly basis. In August alone, 5.61 million consumers had applied for change of operators which was the maximum number in terms of requests placed so far. This reflects a new emerging way of customer acquisition in the telecom space.

A state wise study depicts that the maximum MNP requests of 8.64 million were received in Karnataka followed by Rajasthan (6.70 million), Andhra Pradesh (6.55 million) and Gujarat (6.08 million).

Also, during the last twenty months, Idea gained the maximum market share of 1.33 percent, followed by Bharti Airtel (0.42 percent) and Vodafone (0.14 percent). However, Reliance communications and BSNL lost market share of 1.47 percent and 0.13 percent respectively.

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