IANS Impact: Bharti Airtel puts out amended subscriber figures for May 2021

After an IANS report pointed out identical fall in subscribers for all 26 circles of Bharti Airtel, the company has sent out amended data in supersession of the earlier numbers.

IANS had reported on July 30 that all 26 telecom circles of Bharti Airtel show the same fall of subscribers by 1.3 per cent in May 2021 over April.

Following that Bharti Airtel has given amended data for the circles which shows that the change in number of subscribers for every circle is not identical.

As per the amended data, the overall fall nationally for Airtel is 1.3 per cent which is the same as in the previous data.

The numbers changed for individual circles which earlier showed an identical fall of 1.3 per cent in all circles. Andhra Pradesh subscribers of Airtel are down by 1.6 per cent (earlier 1.3 per cent), Assam up by 0.1 per cent (earlier down 1.3 per cent), Bihar down 0.9 per cent (down 1.3 per cent), Delhi down by 2.4 per cent (1.3 per cent), Gujarat down by 1.9 per cent (1.3 per cent), Haryana down by 2.2 per cent (1.3 per cent), Himachal Pradesh down 2 per cent (1.3 per cent), J&K down 2.1 per cent, (1.3 per cent), Karnataka down 2 per cent (1.3 per cent), Kerala down 1.4 per cent (1.3 per cent), Kolkata down by 1.9 per cent (1.3 per cent), Madhya Pradesh down by 0.7 per cent (1.3 per cent), Maharashtra down 2 per cent (1.3 per cent), Mumbai down 2.4 per cent (1.3 per cent), North East down 1.1 per cent (1.3 per cent), Odisha down 1.2 per cent (1.3 per cent), Punjab down 1.9 per cent (1.3 per cent), Rajasthan down 1.6 per cent (1.3 per cent), Tamil Nadu down 2 per cent (1.3 per cent), UP East down 0.2 per cent (1.3 per cent), UP West down 0.9 per cent (1.3 per cent) and West Bengal down 1.1 per cent as compared to a fall of 1.3 per cent shown earlier.

So, the fall in subscribers is more in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, as compared to previous data.

The fall is comparatively less in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Odisha UP East, UP West and West Bengal vis-a-vis previous data.

As per TRAI on methodology of determining subscribers, Home Location Register (HLR) is a central database that contains details of each mobile phone subscriber that is authorized to use the GSM core network. The HLRs store details of every SIM card issued by the service provider.

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 service provider. 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).

Subscriber numbers reported by the service providers is the difference between the numbers of IMSI registered in service provider’s HLR and sum of other figures.

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 based on HLR and numbers available in VLR. The VLR subscriber data calculated is based on active subscribers in VLR on the date of Peak subscriber number in VLR of the particular month for which the data is being collected. This data is to be taken from the switches having the purge time of not more than 72 hours.