Indian Mobile Subscriber Stats: 9.3M New, 970M Total & 862M Active [March 2015]


TRAI released their Telecom subscription report for the month of March 2015, and the upward growth of mobile subscribers continues – infact, it is now growing at much faster pace.

In the month of March 2015, a total of 9.31 million new subscribers were added, highest in last 12 months. The total subscriber base has now reached 969.89 million, just 30 million short of 1 billion subscribers. In all probability, the magic 1 billion number should be reached in next 6 months.

Interesting, the faster pace of growth is all attributed to rural subscriber additions. On contrary, Urban subscriber base actually fell by 1.56 million, while rural base grew by 10.88 million. Though rural tele-density is still one-third of urban, the scenario is changing quite fast.

Here is how subscriber has grown over past 2 years.

Mobile Subscriber Growth March 2015


Active Mobile Subscriber Base

Active subscriber base means, the number of connections that have been active atleast once in a particular month, This number currently stands at 862.63 million which is 88.94% of total wireless subscriber base. The various steps taken by TRAI over the years to weed out inactive numbers from the system has proved effective and results are there to see. In last 18 months, active base has grown by whopping 5 percentage points.

Here is the chart that shows Total Vs Active subscriber base

Total vs active subscriber base Mar 2015

Mobile Subscriber Growth Highlights [March 2015]

– With an increase of 9.31 mln in March 2015, total mobile subscriber base has reached to  969.89 million. India had 960.58 million subscribers by end of Feb 2015.

– Urban India witnessed a monthly decrease of 0.28 percent or –1.56 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscriber base increased significantly by 2.70 percent or 10.88 mln.

– Urban India has a total of 555.71 million, while rural India has a total of 414.18 million mobile subscribers.

Rural vs urban subscriber base

– Urban Teledensity decreased to 143.08 from 143.71 in March 15, while the rural tele-density increased to 47.78 from previous 46.56.

Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 57.30% as compared 42.70% of rural subscribers.

– 3.84 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of March 2015, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 153.85mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base increased from 851.96 mln in Feb 2015 to 862.63 million in March 2015, taking the active percentage to 88.94 percent.

–  Total Broadband (> 512 Kbps) subscription numbers increased from from 97.37 Million at the end of Feb-15 to 99.20 million at the end of Mar-15 with monthly growth rate of 1.88%


Operator Wise Subscriber Additions [Mar 2015]

Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have both been doing exceedingly well over past few months and both added over 2 million subscribers. Reliance Communication has picked up steam in last 2 months and have added 1.6 million new subscribers to their kitty, third highest of all operators.

Bharti Airtel now commands 23.3% mobile subscriber market share followed by Vodafone at 18.95%. Idea Cellular (16.27%) and Reliance Communication (11.29%) are two other operators with double digit market share

Operator Market Share vs Subscriber additions March 2015

BSNL has had a dreadful time over past year – and they have lost close to 18 million subscribers in last 12 months. Infact since March 2014, they have not had a single month with positive growth. On the other hand, Tata who had picked up subscriber base in last couple of months witnessed negative growth yet again in month of March.

Among smaller operators, Videocon and Aircel are steadily adding good number of subscribers!

Along with BSNL, Reliance and Sistema are two other operators who have lesser subscribers that they had a year back.

Here is how various operators have fared over last 12 months.

Operator Subsscriber Additions March 2015

Top 8 Mobile Operators in Numbers

# Operator Total Subscriber Count (till Dec 2014)
1 Bharti Airtel 226,017,413
2 Vodafone 183,803,013
3 Idea 157,807,668
4 Reliance 109,472,475
5 BSNL 77,223,655
6 Aircel 81,395,713
7  Tata 66,316,007
8 Telewings / Uninor 45,617,757

[Trai March 2015 Report]

1 Comment
  1. rajkumar says

    Amazing information. Just keep it up. Seriously, these are just views and features. I really liked them. Thanks for providing the same

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