The total number of mobile subscribers crossed the one billion mark in the month of October according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The total number of subscribers in India by September-end were 996.7 million. This makes India only the second country to breach this milestone after China, who reached one billion mark in 2012. This number is more than three times that of the American user base. This increase in mobile subscribers can be attributed to the surge of cheap mobile phones and the cheaper tariffs brought on by the intense competition between operators.
TRAI’s report states, “Wireless subscriber base increased from 996.66 million at the end of September, 2015 to 1,003.49 million at the end of October, 2015, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.69%.” Bharti Airtel leads the pack with more than 200 million subscribers followed by Vodafone, Idea, Reliance, Aircel, BSNL, TATA, and Telenor. In addition, Reliance Jio is expected to launch its 4G services by March next year, which should intensify competition between the telcos. This rivalry is expected to improve services, especially with regards to the call drop issue. The government has issued a compensation policy which would penalise telcos for every call that is dropped. Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has also warned telcos to improve their network or face consequences.
It was earlier reported that the total number of telecom subscribers in India had crossed the 1.01 billion mark in August, while wireless subscribers base in the country grew to 988.6 million in the same month. In june this year, Swedish technology and service provider, Ericsson published a report which had predicted that the total number of mobile subscribers in the country would rise to 1.4 billion by 2020.