Urban Mobile Subscribers numbers fall for 1st time in India [TRAI]


Looks like Urban mobile subscriber growth in India has hit the ceiling.

We have been seeing a steady fall  in mobile user monthly growth rate for a year now. While India averaged a growth rate of over 15 million subscriber additions until March 2011 and earlier, last 12 month have average about close to 5 million subscriber additions every month.

And according to TRAI’s latest report, only 1.85 million mobile subscribers were added till April 30th 2012. What is striking is that urban mobile subscriber numbers actually fell by 1.45 million, while rural India added 3.30 mln.

Indian Mobile Subscriber Additions (Since March 11)

apr-12 mobile additions

Report Highlights

– India added 1.85 ml mobile subscriber to reach a overall base of 921 mln by April 30th 2012.

– Urban India saw a fall of 1.45 Mln subscribers as against 3.30 mln additions in rural India.

– India has 64.54% (594.45 mln) Urban subscribers and 35.46% (326.57 mln) rural subscriber base

– India currently has a overall tele-density of 78.71%

– India currently has 686.58 million active subscriber base out of total 921 Mln.

– Delhi currently has the highest Teledensity of 237.66. i.e: On average every mobile subscriber in Delhi has over 2 mobile numbers. On the other hand state of Assam has lowest mobile teledensity of 47.06.

Mobile Number Portability Requests

MNP requests have been steadily increasing over past few month. 40 lakh Indian subscribers too advantage of MNP in April 2012. Total MNP requests rose from 4.19 crore in March 2012 to reach 4.6 crore in April 2012.

Operator wise Mobile Subscriber Additions (April 2012)

april 30 mobile additions

Bharti Airtel added 2.01 million subscribers in April followed by 1.49 million additions by Idea. Uninor came in 3rd with 1.12 mln new subscriber addition. Thanks to the 2g fiasco Etisalat, S Tel and Loop (except Mumbai) have closed down their services and their subscribers have moved to other telecom providers due to which they show erosion of all their subscriber base. 

What is more surprising though is performance of Tata – In last 6 months, Tata has been continuously loosing its subscriber base. In previous years, Tata has been the front runner in subscriber additions thanks to innovative plans and services they announced from time to time. However, looks like they have not been able to offer level of service expected by their subscribers, and they are now deserting Tata.

Operator wise Market Share (April 2012)

market share

Bharti Airtel leads Indian mobile subscriber market share (19.90%)  with 183 mln by April 30th 2012. Reliance has 153.5 million (16.67%) followed by Vodafone who have 151.3 million (16.43%). On one side where Tata Docomo is loosing its market share, Uninor has been performing exceptionally well (Considering that they are late entrants in Indian Telecom space) and now have over 43.5 million subscribers in India commanding 4.73 market share.

Broadband Market Share in India

broadband market share

Broadband has been an under performer and looks like things are not going to change much on that front. Yearly growth in broadband subscribers has been 15.04% during the last one year (April 2011 to April 2012). The total broadband subscriber base currently stands at 1.39 crore. BSNL rules the broadband market with 64.6 share.

  1. Divya says

    Hi, Is there any Unlimited calling plan form any mobile operator for business ?? please let me know

  2. […] is clear from the lackluster Mobile subscriber growth numbers that it has hit a ceiling. Although, the rural mobile subscriber numbers are still showing decent […]

  3. […] primary reason for this I presume is the dropping mobile handset prices and also tapering of growth of new mobile subscriber additions in […]

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