Telecom Tuesday: Indian Telephone Subscriber Base reaches 525 Million !


TRAI has released the latest numbers on growth of Indian Telephone Subscribers. The story is all too familiar from what we have witnessed over last couple of Years.

Another Month with Bumper addition of Subscribers (close to 17 Million). The growth is all to do with Wireless segment – The Wireline segment in going into doldrums with Negative growth.

Here is the report released by TRAI.


Telecom Subscription Data as on 31st  October 2009

  • Total Telephone subscriber base reaches 525.65 Million
      • Wireless subscription reaches 488.40 Million
      • Wireline subscription declines to 37.25 Million
  • 16.67 Million new additions in wireless
  • Wireline subscription declines by 0.05 Million
  • Overall Tele-density reaches 44.87
  • Broadband subscription is 7.40 million

The number of telephone subscribers in India increased to 525.65 Million at the
end of October-09 from 509.03 Million in September-2009, thereby registering a
growth rate of 3.26%. Currently, the overall Tele-density in India stands at 44.87%

Wireless Segment (GSM, CDMA & FWP)

Wireless subscriber base increased from 471.73 Million in September-09 to
488.40 Million
at the end of October-09 at a monthly growth rate of 3.53%. 
Wireless Tele-density stands at 41.69.

Mobile Subscriber addition based on Service Providers:

Mobile Subscriber Addition

Tata Undoubtedly leads the pack with their innovative Mobile Call plans accounting for more than 23% of all subscriber additions followed by Vodafone (17.85%), Bharti (16.18%) and Reliance (12.56%)

Wireline Segment

Wireline subscriber base declined from 37.31 Million in September-09 to 37.25 Million at the end of October-09. BSNL/MTNL, two PSU operators hold 85.46% of the Wireline market share. However, they lost 0.12 Million subscribers in the month of October-09. Overall Wireline teledensity stands at 3.18%

Broadband (≥ 256 Kbps download)

Total Broadband subscriber base has increased from 7.22 million in Sept-09 to 7.40 million in October-09, thereby showing a growth of 2.49 %. 

  1. Rohan says

    I don’t trust these telecom nos. anymore. I have myself experienced how a company “adds more subscribers”. I have my story to tell. It goes like this:

    I already own 4 connections under family plan of a leading telecom provider. One fine day, a salesman came to visit me, and told me about how I could cut down my bill further. What I needed to do was take 2 more connections so that he could not promote me from the family plan to high-corporate plan. Upgrading to the family plan gives me lower tariffs for voice calls and text messages. The idea was to disconnect the 2 new nos after 3 months. By doing so, I would retain the benefits of the high-corporate plan and would not pay for 6 connections thereafter. but only pay for 4 connections!

    This is a very smart idea to add subscriber nos.

    1. Rohan says

      There is a typo in my above comment.

      “What I needed to do was take 2 more connections so that he could not promote me from the family plan to high-corporate plan.” should actually be
      “What I needed to do was take 2 more connections so that he could now promote me from the family plan to high-corporate plan.

      1. Arun Prabhudesai says

        Hey Rohan,

        Yes, I completely agree with you on this. Telecom providers are going to any lengths to baloon their subscriber numbers.

        But in longer run, this is what is going to come back and haunt them !

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