Are mobile phones killing landlines?

CIOL Bureau
New Update

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Remember that old advertisement of BSNL, in which Preity Zinta projects a BSNL landline phone as a “Ghar Ki Pehchan...” or a symbol of the house?


That advertisement was actually a warning signal. With the mobile phones becoming more and more popular, the landline phone is fast losing its identity (and the operators need to try hard to regain the lost glory of the landline phone).

According to the latest official data, the wireline subscription in December 2009 declined to 37.06 million compared to 37.16 million in November, which means BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU operators which hold over 85 per cent the wireline market share, lost nearly one lakh wireline connections in December alone. Interestingly metropolitan cities added 13696 landline connections in December.

On a year-on-year basis there is a decline of 2.2 percent in the wireline segment, while the wireless subscription reached 525.15 million with an addition of 19103766 mobile connections in December.


According to the data the overall tele-density in the country has reached 47.89. Broadband subscription is 7.83 million compared to 7.57 million in November.

Wireless subscriber base increased from 506.04 million in November 2009 to 525.15 million at the end of December 2009 at a monthly growth rate of 3.78 per cent. Wireless tele-density stands at 44.73.

When it comes to net addition of mobile connections in December month, Tata leads with 17.16 per cent. Bharti Airtel (14.92 per cent), Reliance (14.7 per cent) and Vodafone (14.63 per cent) are neck to neck (in percentage) at second third and fourth positions. BSNL's share is 10.89 per cent.


Though BSNL is supposed to take some steps to retain the “Ghar Ki Pehchan...”, in a world where even the homeless own a mobile phone or two, it seems to be a herculean task. Are mobile phones killing landlines? It's a truth, sadly though.