According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the mobile subscribers count in the country fell by a staggering 12.8 million in December 2021 compared to the previous month.
India’s total wireless subscribers decreased from 1.167 billion in November 2021 to 1.156 billion in December, the telecom subscription data revealed.
Reliance Jio registered a loss of over 12.9 million wireless subscribers even as Bharti Airtel and BSNL gained new ones in December 2021. Jio’s gross user base fell to 415.7 million.
Bharti Airtel added 0.47 million wireless customers in December last year, taking its gross user base to 355.76 million. Vodafone Idea lost 1.6 million mobile subscribers, and its base stood at 265.5 million in December 2021.
However, the market share of Jio still remains the highest at 36%, followed by Airtel at 30.81%, and Vi at 23%. In terms of access service provider-wise segregation, the private access service providers held 89.81% of the market share, and the two public sector units (PSUs) - BSNL and MTNL - had a market share of only 10.19%, as of December 31, 2021.
"The wireless teledensity in India decreased from 85.18% at the end of November 2021 to 84.17 % at the end of December 2021. Wireless subscription in urban areas decreased to 633.3 million at the end of December 2021, and that in rural areas also fell to 521.2 million," TRAI said.
The slump could likely be attributed to the tariff hike that was enforced in December last year. The 21% hike in tariff plans likely weeded out low-paying consumers.