GSM operators in the country have witnessed a marginal growth in subscriber base in January, according to new data released by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
The subscriber base for GSM mobile users in India has gone up to 65.75 crore in January from 65.71 crore in December, adding four lakh new customers to it. In November and December last year, the subscriber base had gone down by 90 lakh and 66 lakh, respectively.
The COAI said that Idea Cellular witnessed maximum growth, adding 24.5 lakh new customers during January. Idea Cellular was followed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, adding 22.86 lakh and two lakh new subscribers, respectively.
Telecom operators like Aircel, Uninor and Videocon have seen a decline in subscriber base growth. Videocon has recorded a dip of 38 per cent, taking its figures to 2.57 lakh in January from 36.4 lakh in December. Aircel's and Uninor's customer base has gone down by 17.75 lakh and 14 lakh customers, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Saturday asked Uninor to pay back the balance amount to its subscribers in Mumbai and Kolkata. According to the new directions given by the telecom regulator, Uninor has to refund money to its users in these cities where the company has shut down its operations within fifteen days of time.
The TRAI has also asked Uninor to make arrangement for shifting their numbers to other telecom companies' network and publicize details of number porting and refunding of money on its websites and newspapers.