Despite filing for insolvency, telecom service provider Aircel still has over 80 lakh customers who are yet to port out from its network.
The reason according to analysts tracking the telecom industry is that customers who couldn’t get a port number immediately would have abandoned the subscriber identity model (SIM) card and purchased a new connection with another service provider.
“There are some customers who have two phones so they could have thought that they could migrate slowly. Another set of customers are still waiting to make their final settlement and pending payment. These are the three reasons why a huge section of people is still on the [Aircel] network,” said an analyst.
According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) annual report 2015-16, Aircel had a subscriber base of over 87.09 million in India. The telecom player had a customer base of 1.5 crore in Tamil Nadu alone.
Other telecom providers have cashed in on Aircel’s woes. While over 32 lakh Aircel customers (as on date) have joined the Airtel network, BSNL has picked up over 8 lakh customers. According to a BSNL official, the number is set to go up further. “In the last three days (ending Saturday), an additional 70,000 porting requests were received,” the official said.
Vodafone has added 27 lakh Aircel subscribers to its portfolio. However, Reliance Jio has refused to share statistics.
Customers who have been with Aircel for several years and have not ported out yet are still facing issues when it comes to getting OTP numbers from banks and messages from utility service providers.