The number of mobile subscribers in the country touched the 771.18 million figure by January end, with the addition of 18.99 million connections in the month, official data shows.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the wireless user base grew 2.52 percent to 771.18 million in January from 752.19 million in the previous month.

The report said that while the share of urban subscribers declined to 66.42 percent from 66.65 percent in the month, the share of rural subscribers increased from 33.35 percent to 33.58.

With this, the total number of telephone subscriber base touched 806.13 million, registering a growth of 2.39 percent.

The overall teledensity in India reached 67.67.

But the report said that in January, out of the total 771.18 million subscribers, only 548.66 million subscribers were active subscribers on the date of peak visitor location register (VLR).

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.

The growth in this category was led by Bharti Airtel, which added 3.3 million users to take its subscriber base to 155.8 million users.

Reliance Communications followed next with an addition of added 3.2 million new subscribers, taking its subscriber base to 128.87 million. Vodafone added 3.1 million connections, taking its user base to 127.36 million subscribers.

Newer operators, however, showed a dismal performance with their subscriber base declining tremendously. Videocon posted a decline of 6.89 percent, with over one million customers moving out of its network, leaving it with 6 million customers.

While Loop telecom added a meagre 17,541 subscribers. Currently the operator has 3 million subscribers.

According to the data, the broadband subscriber base grew 2.70 percent from 10.92 million in December to 11.21 million in January 2010. However, the wireline segment declined marginally from 35.09 million in December to 34.94 million at the end of January.

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