Broadband Users At 13.13M; 5.22M Disconnect Mobile, 2.67M Switch Cellular Operator In Nov

India added 1.5 lakh new broadband subscribers in the month of November to take the total user base of high speed Internet to 13.13 million, according to the latest report released by telecom regulator.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), there has been a growth of 1.21 per cent in November over the previous month (October 2011).

Meanwhile, the total wireless mobile subscriber base has risen from 881.4 million in October to 884.37 million at the end of November, registering a growth of 0.33 per cent. The growth rate has decelerated over the last six months.

Although the gross addition in number of wireless mobile subscribers during the month of November, 2011 has been 8.19 million, the net addition has been just 2.97 million due to massive disconnection of 5.22 million from the existing wireless subscribers.

Bulk of this came from Tata Tele that lost over 4.4 million users or about 5 per cent of its total users in a single month. As per Trai's data, Tata Tele lost around one in ten users in Mumbai and Delhi besides seeing loss in subscriber base in most other states.

This is a huge number for any operator to lose in a month and this came right after the company said it will offer one common brand- Tata Docomo cutting across the CDMA and GSM platforms( which meant Tata Docomo moves into the CDMA space and all the existing Tata Indicom customers to migrate to Tata Docomo). Read about that here. Could this be attributed to rebranding that did not go well with users or it's a reporting error? We will wait for Tata Tele to communicate that soon.

Besides Tata Tele, Videocon lost over half a million users in November.

Of the total wireless user base in India, around one in four are not active subscribers. Out of the total 884.37 million subscribers,  635.39 million were active on the date of Peak VLR for the month of November (The total active VLR number excludes the CDMA VLR figure of BSNL, as the service provider has not provided the VLR figures of their total CDMA subscriber base of 4.48 million). The proportion of VLR subscribers is approximately 71.85 per cent of the total wireless subscriber base reported by the service providers.

Circle-wise, J&K has the highest proportion of VLR subscribers with 81.63 per cent followed by Assam (77.91 per cent) and MP (77.46 per cent); Mumbai has the lowest proportion with 60.17 per cent. Service provider wise, Idea leads the tally with 92.26 per cent followed by Bharti (89.86 per cent); Etisalat is at the bottom with 25.37 per cent. This means the report found just about one in four of Etisalat subscribers are actively using their number.

The TRAI report also reveals (based on the data submitted by service providers by the end of November) about 2.58 crore subscribers have submitted requests for porting their mobile number with November alone witnessing a submission of 26.71 lakh requests for changing service provider while retaining the number.

The average mobile number portability (MNP) requests have been around 25 lakh for the past few months, in November it crossed the 26 lakh number for the first time.

Out of the total MNP requests till end of November, Gujarat (24.85 lakh) reported the highest number requests in the MNP zone-I (northern and western India). Following it was Maharashtra (20.99 lakh).  In the MNP Zone-II that includes southern and eastern India, Karnataka (22.91 lakh) tops the list while the Andhra Pradesh circle came second with 22.70 lakh requests.

So, cellular services providers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are finding it most difficult to hold on to consumer loyalty.

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