Cellular Companies Witness Dip In Subscriber Base In Kashmir: TRAI Data

A man talks on his mobile phone in Srinagar after postpaid services were restored in Kashmir Valley after 70 days. Photo: Abid Bhat

SRINAGAR – Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its latest data has revealed that mobile subscriber base in Kashmir Valley has dipped considerably due to unprecedented communication clampdown. The data also reveals that telecommunication companies have suffered huge losses from past four months.

Wireless subscription data released by TRAI shows that Kashmir Valley recorded a sharp dive in its overall mobile subscriber base during August and September, shedding a net 2.58 lakh users. The contraction in mobile user base during the last two months of the second quarter saw the region record a net decline of 1.15 lakh wireless subscribers during the period, compared to a net addition of 1.44 lakh mobile connections during the first quarter ended June 30, 2019.

The decline is even more prominent when seen in terms of active wireless subscribers (measured through the Visitor Location Register or VLR), with data showing that over 65 lakh wireless connections weren’t active in the state during September, compared to just 17.2 lakh in June.

The sharp fall in active subscribers from the region during the course of the communications lockdown played a part in depressing the revenue growth of major telcos, say industry executives.

The VLR percentage has fallen from 72.46 per cent to 42.43 per cent for Vodafone Idea, from 84.02 per cent to 38.44 per cent for Reliance Jio, and from 68.58 per cent to 42.43 per cent for BSNL.

Pertinently, Kashmir has been witnessing internet shutdown since August 5, the day when Government of India abrogated special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Government restored post paid mobile service after 71 days while ban on pre-paid and SMS services continue till date. (KNT)


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