Srinagar: Despite all odds on economic front, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed 15 per cent mobile subscriber growth in the last 4 years.
This growth curve which started its upward trajectory in 2017 is quite significant as the UT had a total of 9573852 mobile subscribers in 2016. This erosion of mobile subscriber base was after it lost a huge chunk of subscribers to a long communication shutdown in 2016.
As per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), J&K registered 11912082 mobile subscribers at the end of June 2021, which is almost 15 per cent more than 10428635 mobile subscribers registered in September 2017.
“More than 60 per cent contribution to the total subscriber base of J&K is from Kashmir. On any given day Kashmir is a lucrative telecom hub,” said an executive of a private mobile company.
In 2016, J&K lost almost 4.5 lakh active subscribers during suspension of mobile and internet services. However, the growth witnessed a spurt as this region added 2,01,879 subscribers in March,2017.
In the past, the bulk of the erosion in mobile customer base in the UT had taken place from the pre-paid users as according to Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the pre-paid mobile users formed 92.73 per cent of the total subscribers in 2016. However, there has been a spurt in the post-paid connections in the last 4 to 5 years, thanks to the people opting for multiple SIM cards.
As per TRAI data, J&K recorded 88.33 Tele-density in June this year which as per experts is an encouraging sign. Tele-density is calculated as the number of phone connections per hundred people of a region or state.
However, multiple connections with one subscriber can be a reason for this deep penetration. J&K is not a heavily populated region but still fast growing in terms of new mobile connections, said experts.
It may be mentioned that in February 2018, telco Aircel which had 34 lakh subscriber base in Jammu and Kashmir had shut down its operations here. However, the entry of Reliance Jio led to its market dominance and popularity.