Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Jan 17 (ANI): The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the apex industry association representing the country's major telecom, internet, technology and digital services companies, on Wednesday released the latest telecom subscriber numbers, for the month ending December 2017.
As per the data, India's private telecom service providers have a total of 981.65 million subscribers.
The figures include Reliance Jio Infocomm and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) by the end of November 2017, reported the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Amongst the individual companies, Idea Cellular Ltd had the highest subscriptions over previous month, the report stated.
Further, Bharti Airtel Ltd continues to hold the top position, with 29.55 percent market share, adding another half a million subscribers during December, to take its total subscriber base to 290.11 million subscribers.
The report, which also provides mobile subscriber numbers for individual circles, showed that UP (East) circle remained at the top with total 85.23 million subscribers.
Maharashtra remained at second position with a total of 82.19 million mobile subscribers.
"Mobile connectivity in every corner of the country has been our primary vision for long. It is extremely encouraging to see sizeable growth in the customer base in various cities. We are optimistic about our journey towards a fully connected and empowered Digital India, and it seems that we are rapidly marching towards it," said Director General, COAI, Rajan S Mathews.
"The telecom industry plays an essential role by way of its contribution to the Indian economy, and is a key driver of its growth. The industry has also ensured progress towards the realisation of government's policy and plans, such as its vision for Digital India, in a manner that connectivity reaches the farthest corners of the country and benefits all citizens. With consistent growth, it is easy for us to envision an enabled and empowered society where every individual gets a chance to partake in the economic growth of the country," he added.
Mobile connectivity and data services have played a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide and supports the democratic foundation of the country.
However, it is important to ensure that the industry has a stable policy environment to thrive in.
It requires 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 that the industry is currently suffering.
"We remain hopeful that we will see tangible relief in the Budget 2018 and the NTP 2018 will also move the industry forward in this direction. The industry remains committed towards working for a fully connected and digitally empowered India and, furthering the Prime Minister's vision of Digital India," Mathews concluded. (ANI)