India telcos are cleaning up their subscriber records and, as a result, the total number of phone subscribers in the country has dropped by 1.87 million in September from the previous month.
According to statistics released on Wednesday by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India's telephone subscriber base dropped to 937.7 million in September, representing a 0.2 percent month-on-month drop in the overall number.
Delving deeper, the report stated mobile phone subscribers decreased by 0.19 percent from 908.36 million to 906.62 million in September. "This decline is due to large-scale disconnections by some of the service providers," TRAI noted.
The largest dip in mobile phone subscribers was experienced by Bharti Airtel. It lost over 981,000 customers to take its total customer base to 185.9 million, the regulator pointed out.
The loss of mobile subscribers would be one reason for the telco's poor performance reported in its second quarter earnings report. Bharti Airtel has now reported its 11th consecutive quarter of profit decline due to intense competition in the market, with consolidated net profit falling 30 percent to INR 7.21 billion (US$132 million) for the three months ending September.