Some 71% of India’s total mobile subscription base is active.
TRAI, the regulator, reports that India had 884.37 million mobile subscriptions in November 2011, up by 2.97 million in the month. Rural areas accounted for 71.7% of these net additions to reach rural penetration of 36.05%, while urban penetration reached 159.92%. Of the 884.37 million mobile subscriptions, around 71.8% or 635.39 million were active (not accounting for the CDMA subscriber base of BSNL) on the basis of the peak Visitor Location Register (VLR) in November 2011.
A number of operators have said that they will start disconnecting customers who have not used their mobile phones for more than 60 days (see India: 20 November 2011: Vodafone to Disconnect Inactive Subscribers). This is the timeline the Indian authorities use to calculate operators’ numbering requirements. As a result, operators’ mobile customer bases will appear to shrink, although both ARPU and MoU levels will be boosted as a result of these calculations. The table below provides an estimate of how monthly ARPU could be lifted by a revision of Vodafone India’s customer base.