India Mobile Stats Feb 2016: 8.7M New, 1027M Total, 205M MNP Requests, Airtel Market Share at 24.22%


India is currently witnessing healthy mobile subscriber growth – According to TRAI’s monthly telecom subscription report for Feb 2016, India added 8.7 million new mobile subscribers taking the total subscriber base to 1026.66 million. Feb 2016 witnessed highest growth in last 12 months during which time it has added a total of 66.54 million subscribers.

While China market remains the largest mobile market in terms of subscription, in terms of subscriber growth, India remains far ahead of China.

Here is how Indian mobile subscriber base has grown in last two years.

Indian mobile Subscriber additions Feb 2016

On the other hand, wireline subscribers continued their negative growth, which has now reached a mere 25.22 million.


Active Mobile Subscriber Base

Active subscribers base, or number of subscribers who accessed their mobile network atleast once in a month, also witnessed a healthy increase. The active percentage witnessed marginal  fall from 90.14% in Jan 2016 to 90.12% in Feb 2016. About 101 million subscribers remained inactive in the month of Feb 2016.

Any mobile number that remains inactive for over 3 months gets deactivated and is removed from Operators total. Hence, frequently we witness fall in numbers of few telecom operators.

Here is a chart that shows growth of active vs total subscriber base.

Active Subscriber Base Feb 2016


Mobile Subscriber Growth Highlights [February 2016]

– With an increase of 8.70 mln in Feb 2016, total mobile subscriber base has reached 1026.66 million. India had 1017.97 million subscribers by end of January 2016.

– Urban India witnessed a monthly growth rate of 0.79 percent or 4.60 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscriber base increased by 0.94 percent or 4.09 mln.

– Urban India has a total of 587.55 million, while rural India has a total of 439.11 million mobile subscribers.

Rural vs Urban Subscriber Growth Feb 2016

– Urban Teledensity increased to 148.65 from 147.72 in Jan 2016, while the rural tele-density increased to 50.26 from previous 49.83.

Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 57.23% as compared 42.77% of rural subscribers.

5.10 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of Feb 2016, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 204.73 mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base increased from 917.63 million in Jan 2016 to 925.22 million in Feb 2016, taking the active percentage to 90.12 percent.

– Delhi remained the circle with highest teledensity of 239.11, while Bihar has the lowest at 53.48. The all-India teledensity currently stands at 82.89

– Total Broadband (> 512 Kbps) subscriber increased from 140.10 Million at the end of Jan- 16 to 144.87 million at the end of Feb-16 with a monthly growth rate of 3.40%.

– Broadband Subscribers in India grew by 3.4% in Feb 2016. Out of 144.87 million broadband users, 127.61 million access internet through mobile devices or dongles.

Operator Wise Subscriber Additions [Feb 2016]

Bharti Airtel once again topped the charts, 3 times in a row, adding 2.9 million subscribers in Feb. Vodafone added 2 mln followed by Idea Cellular who added 1.46 mln. The top 3 operators accounted for over 72 percent of total additions in February.

Tata has had tough last couple of years. At the peak they had double digit market share in India – however, they now languish below 6 percent. In month of February 2016, they lost over half a million subscribers. Among other operators, Telewings has been performing exceptionally well and now have reached a market share of just over 5 percent.

Here is a graph that shows Operator Market share and monthly additions for Feb 2016.

Operator Market Share vs Monthly additions Feb 2016

Subscriber Additions by Operator in last 1 year

Bharti Airtel has come very close to reaching a quarter market share in India. They remained clear winner with 22.8 mln additions in last 1 year. Idea Cellular (15.7 mln) came in second followed by Vodafone (11.83 mln). Tata fared worst as they lost 5.78 mln users during the same time.

1 year mobile subscriber additions Feb 2016

Top 8 Mobile Operators in Numbers

Sr. No Telecom Operator Total Subscriber Count ( till Feb 2016)
1 Bharti Airtel 248,690,245
2 Vodafone 196,746,283
3 Idea Cellular 174,627,491
4 Reliance Communication 101,905,475
5 Aircel 86,677,778
6 BSNL 84,826,568
7 Tata 60,278,625
8 Telewings / Telenor 51,677,533

[Trai Press Release]

1 Comment
  1. […] – With an increase of 6.97 mln in Feb 2016, total mobile subscriber base has reached 1033.63 million. India had 1026.66 million subscribers by end of February 2016. […]

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