The lockdown due to Covid19 pandemic continued till end of May 2020 and by then, the telecom industry witnessed loss of 6.38 lakh mobile numbers in Gujarat. The telecom regulatory, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) released mobile subscription numbers for May 2020 on Wednesday. The report says that only Jio and BSNL posted positive growth and added 1.27 lakh and 1,547 mobile numbers respectively in Gujarat during the month.
During lockdown, it was realized that apart from food, cloths and shelter, data is equally considered as basic necessity. Despite that, telecom industry had total 6.61 crore mobile subscribers, with loss of 6.38 lakh mobile numbers in May 2020 compared with 6.68 crore mobile subscribers in April 2020.
It is believed that users have discontinued their multiple SIMs during lockdown to cut down the expenses. Few years back, customers used to have multiple SIMs to make calls and data affordable. Now, to reduce the cost further, customers have started discarding additional SIMs or mobile numbers they were using.
Known for its affordable high-speed data, Jio successfully increased its mobile subscribers by 1.27 lakh from 2.38 crore users in April 2020 to 2.39 crore users in May 2020. Similarly, the state-owned telecom company, BSNL also increased its subscriber base by 1,547 from 61.04 lakh in April 2020, to 61.05 lakh in May 2020.
As per Trai report, the leading telecom operator of Gujarat, Vodafone Idea has posted negative growth once again in May. The number of mobile subscribers of the operator fell by over 4 lakh mobile numbers from 2.65 crore users in April 2020 to 2.61 crore in May 2020. Even Airtel saw fall of over 3.60 lakh numbers from 1.03 crore in April 2020 to 99.50 lakh numbers in May 2020.
Nationally, telecom consumer base in the country dipped to around 116.36 crore in May but service providers were able to narrow the loss of subscriber base to 57.6 lakh as compared to the previous month, according to Trai data.
The telecom subscriber base had declined 85.3 lakh in April, when the country was under complete lockdown, to 116.94 crore. Major loss in subscriber base was recorded in the mobile telephony segment, with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea losing around 47 lakh mobile customers each in May. The total wireless customer base of Airtel and Vodafone Idea dipped to 31.7 crore and 30.9 crore, respectively.
Jio continued to grow its subscriber base with a net addition of over 36 lakh new connections and led the market with a total subscriber base of 39.2 crore. State-owned BSNL also added over 2 lakh new mobile subscribers, taking its total wireless customer base to 11.9 crore.