Mobile Subscriber figures: are they real?

Recently I overheard a conversation where my friends was suggesting taking a new mobile number to a person. The reason was: a new SIM gives you a talkime of 90 INR when you pay 45 INR. In comparison to this, if you recharge, you never get more talktime than you pay. I was startled. It is a fact that rural India is a big part of this growth story where 1 Rupee is more important to people than retaining a single mobile number for some time.

This was just one example of how mobile companies are knowingly allowing the public to give an artificial boost to their number of mobile subscribers.

Another example: today I went to a renowned retail chain. There I saw a stall giving away Airtel sim cards free of cost. That too with free for life incoming activated.

I asked the agent if I need to pay anything, he told me “No sir, it is absolutely free of cost. Anyone can come and take the sim away from me. All that is needed is just an ID proof.”

Following is the picture I took from my mobile:

Airtel Giveaway
Airtel Giveaway

COAI reports 10 to 15 million of subscriber addition every month.

Mobile subscriber stats from COAI
Mobile subscriber stats from COAI

Do you think all of them are genuine customers who do not purchase a new number just because it provides them more monetary value than retaining the old one?

I think it is high time TRAI asks the operators to provide actual number of active subscribers. Otherwise we would continue living in fools paradise and boast of a non existent artificial bubble of growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *