Home » Telecom » Telecom Tuesday » India crosses 800 Million Telecom Subscribers –Adds 19m mobile users in Jan!
Last updated: August 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

India crosses 800 Million Telecom Subscribers –Adds 19m mobile users in Jan!

The Indian Telecom subscriber count has reached 806.13 Million by end of January 2011, thanks to unabated growth in mobile subscribers. India added 18.99 Million new Mobile subscribers in January to take the total mobile subscriber count to 771.18 Million.

According to the latest report released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India has 538.38 million Urban Subscribers while 267.74 million Rural subscribers. The mobile growth in rural areas is higher at 3.07% as compared to urban which was about 2.06% in January. The share of Urban Subscriber
has declined to 66.79% from 67% where as share of Rural Subscribers has increased from 33% to 33.21%. With this,  the overall Tele-density in India reaches 67.67 percent.

Telecom Subscription Data Highlights as on 31st Jan 2011

Telecom Subscibers Jan 2011

Interestingly, according to the new VLR data released by TRAI, out of total 771.18 Million mobile subscribers, 548.66 Million were active subscribers. So roughly about 71 percent of all the connections sold are being actively used. It is also interesting to note that Bharti Airtel has maximum active subscribers (92.63%) closely followed by Idea (90.34%). When it comes to region, Mumbai has lowest proportion of active subscribers (59.59%), while Jammu & Kashmir has the maximum (81.26%)!

I was also looking forward to see the churn in between telecom providers due to onset of Mobile Number Portability. It seems from the report that instead of actually being beneficial to smaller providers, it is exactly the opposite. They have lost more subscribers to their larger counter-parts than other way around. Infact, Videocon and HFCL are actually showing negative growth!

New Subscriber Additions in January 2011

Subscriber additions Jan 2011

Bharti maintained the lead adding 17.38 percent of all subscribers followed by Reliance (16.95) Vodafone (16.37) & Idea (13.22%). None of the newer Operators are able to make the mark with all of them put together adding less than 5% of all subscribers.

Telecom Operator Market Share

Subscriber Market Share

Bharti leads the pack with over one-fifth of Indian Telecom market under its fold, followed by closely placed Reliance (16.71%) and Vodafone (16.52%).

Broadband Subscriber growth in India

Broadband growth remains subdued – In the month of Jan total of 0.29 million broadband subscribers were added taking the total kitty to 11.21 million, thus showing a growth rate of 2.70%.


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  • India Surveys: Handset market, Salary hikes, Indian students in US, card frauds, Women Job opportunities... says:

    […] the next five years, with the increasing number of subscribers coming from lower middle income developing economies, the average size of the consumer wallet is […]

  • Connections may be 800 million but I have a suspicion that the total subscribers are not more than 300 million – about the size of the Indian middle class, due multiple phones assigned to each person. I know many that have more than 5 cell phones, to avoid roaming charges.

  • I also happened to analyze the monthly % net addition of subscribers for various telecom operators over a period of 3 months. It threw up some different statistics. I have analysed it in my post http://varunjindalblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/will-mobile-number-portability-trigger-consolidation/ What has been the most interesting point is that while Reliance suffered a net loss of over 3 lac subscribers for Jan due to MNP, it made a net addition of 32 lac subscribers in all for Jan. This essentially means that had MNP been not there, Reliance would have made a net addition of 35 lac subscribers. This implies that Reliance was more effective in wooing the new subscribers than any other operator, but it failed miserably to retain its existing subscribers.

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