Telecom industry lost over 5.6 million wireless users in May: Trai

India lost 8.2 million telecom users in April, nearly four times the subscribers lost in March due to the strict nationwide lockdown
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday said that the industry lost over 5.6 million wireless subscribers in May amid the nationwide lockdown.

The overall telecom subscriber base for wireless connections stood flat at 1.14 billion in May, compared to 1.14 billion crore in April.

Even as there was an overall decline in the subscriber base, Reliance Jio continued adding subscribers to its base, with over 3.65 million user additions during the month, taking its total tally to 392.7 million users.

Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea continued to lose subscribers. Airtel lost over 4.74 million subscribers and Vodafone Idea lost 4.72 million taking their respective subscriber base to 317.8 million and over 309.9 million, the TRAI data said.

State-run BSNL added over 200,000 new connections taking its subscriber base to over 119.9 million.

The number of wireless subscribers, including 2G, 3G and 4G, declined 0.5% in May. In urban areas, the number of wireless users fell from 629 million at the end of April to 620 million as of 31 May, while it increased in rural areas from 520 million in April to 523 million as of 31 May. This led to a 0.70% monthly growth in rural wireless subscriptions, the TRAI data said.

The data showed that in May 2.98 million subscribers submitted their requests for mobile number portability (MNP).

"With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 488.23 million at the end of April 2020 to 491.21 million at the end of May 2020, since implementation of MNP," the TRAI statement said.

India lost 8.2 million telecom users in April, nearly four times the subscribers lost in March due to the strict nationwide lockdown forcing urban migrants to revert to their native villages.

In April, the urban mobile subscriber base dropped by 9 million.

Vodafone Idea lost 4.5 million subscribers, Bharti Airtel’s -- 5.2 million, while Reliance Jio continued with its user addition spree with 1.6 million subscribers.

BSNL that had gained 95,073 users in March, lost more than 20,000 subscribers in the month of April.

The telecom space is currently dominated by Reliance Jio with with 33.85% wireless market share, followed by Airtel and Vodafone Idea with 28.06% and 27.37% market share, respectively.

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