The decline in the number of mobile subscribers depicts the uncertainty the telecom market is witnessing right now and calls for a concrete policy by the government to address the issue, an industry lobby said .
According to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the telecom subscribers base fell to 944.81 million in July from 965.52 million in June-the first ever decline in the country.
"For a couple of months, the total subscriber addition numbers were reducing but this is for the first time that it has declined," Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.
"This depicts the uncertainty the telecom market is witnessing right now and is clearly a warning for the government. The government really needs to come up with a concrete policy," he added.
He also said that the downfall has majorly been caused due to few operators -STel and Etisalat -going out of business. He also said that Uninor which stands to lose all its licences following Supreme Court's order has also lost a significant number of customers recently.
According to TRAI's data, the total user base of the country declined by 20.71 million subscribers in July over June.
Tata Teleservices lost 2.4 subscribers to have a total number of 77.8 million subscribers while Uninor lost 1.1 million subscribers. It has 44.5 million subscribers.
Bharti Airtel, however, went ahead and added 1.5 million subscribers to have a total subscribers base of 188.8 million. Vodafone added 1.2 million users to have a total of 154.9 million users.
Idea Cellular added 4,55,912 subscribers to have 117.6 users.
State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) added 4,71,552 users to have 98.75 million users.