India’s mobile user base officially tops 1 billion, says COAI

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India’s mobile market has officially passed the 1-billion subscriber mark according to local mobile industry coalition COAI, which counted 1.049 billion mobile subscribers in its April 2018 report.

Bharti Airtel continues to hold the top position, with total mobile subscribers reaching 308.6 million adding another 4.5 million subscribers during April 2018. Airtel is followed by Vodafone India, which ended at 222.03 million subscribers. Idea Cellular had the maximum number of subscriber additions, adding 5.55 million to bring its total subscribers to 216.76 million.

The report also provides mobile subscriber numbers for individual circles, showed that the UP (East) circle remained at the top with a total of 91.07 million subscribers, while Maharashtra remained at second position with a total of 84.26 million mobile subscribers.

COAI noted that while it collects its own data for the operators listed above, the monthly subscriber figures of Aircel, Telenor, RCom, Reliance Jio, BSNL and MTNL were provided by independent regulator TRAI, and were current as of March 2018

“We are glad to see the constant growth of the subscribers’ base and expansion of connectivity in the rural areas. With this increasing reach, people are also shifting to 4G technology,” said Rajan S Mathews, director general, of COAI. “As the Draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018 proposes extending exemptions for the construction of telecom towers and provide accelerated Rights of Way permissions for telecom tower, the telecom connectivity will soon reach to the last person of the country.”

In order to achieve that, COAI called on the government for “urgent and immediate intervention to encourage policy and regulatory stability, and facilitate growth, innovation and investment in the sector in view of the mounting financial debt and debilitating financial health of the industry.”

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