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Why Indian Wireless Subscriber Numbers From Sept 2016 Is Irrelevant?

Indian wireless subscriber’s base which will be released by TRAI in coming weeks will show huge jump. All credit should go to Reliance Jio entry into segment. Based on COAI released data, Incumbent mobile operators such as Idea Cellular, Airtel, Vodafone & Other which exclude Reliance Jio added more the 4.5 MN user where Reliance Jio added 16 Mn users.

 Indian wireless userbase is already touched 1Bn and is at the saturation point and in that scenario, additional 20 MN subscriber raise question mark given the fact that more than 20% of Indian population live under poverty line.
We should ask ourselves that from where new users are coming in a country where total population is around 1.25 Bn and if we deduct 250 million citizens who live under poverty line then India covers more or less 100% of available serving addressable market of wireless domain.

Isn't it logical? Based on the channel check, Reliance Jio is offering 9 SIM against one Aadhar card and many users are queuing up to grab that. In my point of view, TRAI should also release the userbase using more than one SIM card to give the clear picture of Indian mobile userbase.

India is again moving towards 2011-13 era when userbase went up but VLR active userbase % went down which prompted TRAI to force Mobile operators to cleanup their database and release number allocated to non VLR active SIM.

We should not be happy that Indian mobile user base are increasing but TRAI should be worried that the ongoing process of user acquisition will pose major threat across multiple ecosystems.

Do share your views

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About Devendra Prasad

20 years plus industry veteran of domestic and international ICT domain with the expertise in Business, Technology, Strategy and Analysis. Specializes in forecasting impact analysis, trends and recommendations for Investments, Technology and Regulations.
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