30% Wireless Subscribers are Inactive – Telecom Subscription Data, September 2010

According to the Telecom Subscription Data as on 30 September 2010, released by TRAI (pdf), the number of telephone subscribers in India increased to 723.28 Million at the end of September 2010.

Wireless subscription reached 687.71 Million, out of which 482.89 million subscribers were active subscribers in VLR on the 30th September 2010. This means that, only 70% of the total wireless subscriber base reported by the service providers are active. This means that 30% of the wireless subscriber base is inactive.

While the Tatas have only 44% CDMA active subscribers and 46.2% active GSM users, Bharti Airtel (89.9%) and Idea (87.9%) have a higher percentage of active subscribers.

The overall Tele-density in India reaches 60.99. Wireless Tele-density stands at 57.99. Broadband subscription is 10.29 million .

Telecom Service Provider Market Share as on September 2010

  1. Bharti – 20.84%
  2. Reliance – 17.06%
  3. Vodafone – 16.8%
  4. Tata – 11.5%
  5. BSNL – 11.39%
  6. Idea – 10.79%
  7. Aircel – 6.76%
  8. Uninor – 1.64%

Home Location Register (HLR) is a central database that contains details of each mobile phone subscriber that is authorized to use the core network. The HLRs store details of every SIM card issued by the mobile phone operator. Each SIM has a unique identifier called an International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) which is the primary key to each HLR record. The HLR data is stored for as long as a subscriber remains with the mobile phone operator. HLR also manages the mobility of subscribers by means of updating their position in administrative areas. It sends the subscriber data to a Visitor Location Register (VLR).

Visitor Location Register (VLR) is a temporary database of the subscribers who have roamed into the particular area which it serves. Each base station in the network is served by exactly one VLR, hence a subscriber cannot be present in more than one VLR at a time. If subscriber is in active stage i.e. he is able to send/receive calls/SMSs he is available both in HLR and VLR. However, it may be possible that the subscriber is registered in HLR but not in VLR due to the reason that he is either switched-off or moved out of coverage area, not reachable etc. In such circumstances he will be available in HLR but not in VLR. This causes difference between subscriber number reported by the service providers and numbers available in VLR.

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