According to the latest telecom subscription report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the number of telecom subscribers in December 2022 stood at 6.6 crore (precisely at 6,60,65,871), a drop of 14.08 lakh compared to 6.7 crore (precisely 6,74,74,267) in December 2021, notes the TRAI report.
Gujarat lost 14 lakh mobile subscribers in 2022. Telecom industry players attribute the reasons to rising inflation and more people doing away with additional connections.
“During the pandemic and lockdown, customers opted for multiple connections to ensure consistent internet connectivity. However, over time, as inflation took on, many of these connections were rendered unused and therefore, were automatically disconnected. Some also surrendered their additional connections and as a result, the total number of subscribers have declined,” shared a telecom industry insider.
VIL (Vodafone Idea Limited) lost the highest number of subscribers in a year at 12.62 lakh.
After VIL, BSNL (4.17 lakh) and Airtel (3.26 lakh) too lost a significant number of their subscribers. Reliance Jio was the only one to gain 5.98 lakh net subscribers during the year.
Yet another reason indicated by telecom industry players for the decline in subscribers was the stabilizing of telecom tariff.
“Most service providers were offering competitive pricing to lure customers into taking new connections. However, post pandemic when the markets stabilised and inflation set in, telcos hiked their base plan rates. That meant customers thought twice before spending on mobile packs,” explained the official.
With telecom subscribers on a decline over the past year-and-half, Gujarat’s tele-density has also plunged to 92.6% in December 2022, as compared to 100.1% in July 2021. The state slipped to the 9th position from the 8th as the tele-density declined, according to the TRAI report.
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