Telecom user base edges up to 91.5 cr; Vodafone key gainer

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The number of telecom subscribers rose marginally to 91.5 crore in December 2013 over the previous month, the regulator Trai said today.

"The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 910.14 million (91.01 crore) at the end of November, 2013, to 915.19 million (91.5 crore) at the end of December 2013," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said.

Mobile subscriber base grew marginally to 88.63 crore while fixed line connections continued to decline to 2.88 crore at December end.

Vodafone was the major gainer during the month by adding 23 lakh new customers to its network. Its total user base was about 16 crore at December end, the Trai data showed.

Market leader Bharti Airtel added about 18 lakh customers in the month to take its user base to 19.84 crore.

On the other hand, state-run BSNL saw a decline of 20 lakh in its user base, followed by Tata Teleservices (76,256 users) and Loop Mobile by (25,152 users).

Videocon, which has operations in four circles registered the highest growth rate of 8.15 per cent in subscribers. It expanded user base by 3.5 lakh.

Among other operators, Aircel added 16 lakh subscribers, while Uninor added 4.1 lakh users. Idea Cellular added 2.7 lakh, Reliance Communications 2.2 lakh, Sistema Shyam (MTS) 2.1 lakh and MTNL added 10,000 new customers.

In December, about 25 lakh customers submitted requests for changing service provider through the Mobile Number Portability facility.

The number of broadband subscribers reached 5.5 crore at the end of December, 2013. Wireless broadband service, including mobile internet, dominated broadband numbers with over 4 crore connections. Fixed line broadband user base stood at 1.45 crore.

While BSNL dominated fixed line broadband segment with 99 lakh customers, Bharti Airtel led wireless broadband market with 94.9 lakh customers.

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