Telecom giant Bharti Airtel Thursday denied claims of some of its competitors that it had inflated its subscriber numbers to get spectrum.

“The latest TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) report on VLR (Visitor Location Register) numbers once again reiterates Bharti Airtel’s transparent reporting of customer numbers. With close to 92 percent active customer base, Bharti Airtel has ranked as the number one among all operators,” the company said in a statement.

It added that the report showed that the firm’s subscriber base consisted of active users, unlike some of the other telecom firms who had a huge percentage of inactive SIM cards masquerading as subscribers.

India added 22.62 million mobile phone subscribers in December, taking the total number of cellular users in the country to 752.19 million till Dec 31, official data said.

However, according to TRAI, the total number of active subscribers Dec 31 was only 529.22 million, led by Bharti Airtel at 140 million customers.

“Service provider wise, Bharti leads the tally with 91.79 percent (of active subscribers), closely followed by Idea with 90.04 percent. MTNL is at the bottom with 35.10 percent,” TRAI said in a statement.

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.

VLR data are calculated on the basis of active subscribers in VLR on the last working day (Monday to Friday) of a particular month.

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