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India telcos lost 13M customers in November 2012

Phone subscribers in India fell to 921.47 million as of end of November, from 935.18 million in end October, with only three telcos managing to increase their user bases.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

India's telephone subscriber base fell by more than 13 million in November 2012, with only Reliance Communications, Loop and HFCL managing to increase their customer bases.

According to a statement by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last Friday, the country's total user base stood at 935.18 million by the end of October 2012. This number, however, dropped by 13.71 million to 921.47 million the following month, it noted.

Similarly, the mobile phone user base declined by 1.51 percent to 890.6 million in the same month, down from 904.23 million at the end of October. The regulator attributed this drop to "large-scale disconnection by some of the service providers".

Last November, TRAI also released statistics that showed the total number of phone subscribers in the country dropped by 1.87 million in September from the month before. This was due to local telcos conducting a cleaning up of their records and deactivating inactive mobile phone users.
Only three telcos increased user base
Bucking the trend of dropping subscriber numbers, Reliance Communications, Loop and HFCL, added a total of 135,519 new subscribers in November.

Reliance Communications, for instance, added 108,990 new users during the period to take its user base to 134.11 million, while Loop added 20,805 new subscribers to bring its user base to 3 million.

Conversely, Tata Teleservices lost 4.23 million users--the most among the Indian telcos--bringing its user base to 72.51 million by end-November. This was followed by market leader Bharti Airtel, which lost 2.8 million customers, leaving it a user base of 183.61 million.

Source: TRAI's Telecom Subscription Data, as of Nov. 30, 2012


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