SRINAGAR, Nov 20: The latest mobile subscriber figures with the telecom operators in Jammu and Kashmir have heavily gone down. Over three lakh mobile subscribers in the state have been barred here in the month ending September, 2011, latest report released by the Cellular Operators Association of India reveals.
According to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)—the society dedicated to advancement of modern communication through cellular mobile telephone services, 3,10,627 mobile subscribers had been disconnected in the state. However, few companies have expanded their customer base and this has brought the total number of disconnected subscribers down to 264,407 cell users.
The total telecom users have gone down from 5,343,800 to 5,079,393 subscribers, which is a loss of 4.95 per cent in September, 2011. “Most of the connections that had been barred were prepaid SIM services,” said a telecom operator here.
During the month, Dishnet Wireless saw the highest disconnections of 287,393 cell users and the companies’ subscriber base has gone down from 1,783,650 to 1,496,257 users. BSNL faced a cut of 23,234 subscribers and its base was reduced from 894,661 to 871,427 users during the same period.
However, Bharti Airtel added 12,234 users in September and its total base had gone up from 1,937,286 to 1,949,520 users. While, Vodafone Essar gained 19,800 subscribers and its base had grown from 588,148 to 607,948 users. Idea too has added 14,186 users and its figures had gone up from 140,055 to 154,241 mobile subscribers.
The decision would have an impact on over all market size of the mobile service providers, believe authorized telecom kiosks.
“Most of the customers come to us for pre paid connections but now with the stringent procedure in place for new connections we would not be able to make much sales,” a local dealer said who wished not to be named.
A prepaid SIM subscriber, Mushtaq Ahmad said, “Most of the barred connections were from the poorer section of the society. As most of the persons from the poor strata possess prepaid SIM cards,” adding, “The prepaid scheme is meant mainly for below poverty line section.” The stern procedure for issuance of new SIM cards would hamper the growth of the mobile subscribers in remote rural areas, Ahmad lamented.
Earlier, in the last week of the September, 2011 the bulk disconnection were made after the Union Home Ministry had questioned the effectiveness of the prevalent procedures for issuance of new connections in a meeting of the chief executive officers of telecom operators. The meeting was held in New Delhi, which had also discussed the mechanism of monitoring of communication over cell phones and internet.
To mention, the government has already banned SMS services in the valley last year owing to the 2010 summer unrest that led at least 120 persons killed in the firing allegedly by troopers.
According to the reports, no prepaid cellular phone has been blocked in Jammu so far.-KT

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