Indian Mobile Subscriber Stats Apr 2016: BSNL Tops With 1.1M Additions, Idea, Videocon Lose Subscribers


April 2016 has panned out to be a very different month when it comes to Mobile Subscriber additions. Generally, we see that  3 telecom operators, Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone, cornering a chunk on new subscriber additions and one of them witnessing highest number of additions.

For the first time, it is state owned BSNL that topped the charts by adding 1.1 million new subscribers – even in the previous month they had witnessed second highest subscriber additions.

We have been covering subscriber addition stats for nearly five years now, and for the first time we are witnessing such good performance from BSNL.

Another first is that Idea Cellular has for the first time witnessed negative growth!

Cumulatively, April 2016 saw just 0.62 million additions, lowest number sine September 2013. The low number of additions are primarily due Videocon, Idea and Tata who lost subscribers. The total number of mobile subscribers in India has reached 1034.25 million!

Here is a graph that shows subscriber additions for past 18 months:

Mobile Subscriber Additions April2016


Active Mobile Subscriber Base

Active Subscriber base saw a huge dip as well – April 2016 had 934.08 mln active subscribers as compared to 936.46 mln in March 2016. The active subscriber percentage has hence dipped to 90.31 percent compared to 90.6 percent previously.

Interestingly, March had seen active subscriber base grow by 11.24 million, the highest number registered in more than 3 years.

Here is a chart comparing active subscriber growth with total number of subscribers.

Total vs active subscriber based April2016

Mobile Subscriber Growth Highlights [April 2016]

– With an increase of 0.62 mln in April 2016, total mobile subscriber base has reached 1034.25 million. India had 1033.63 million subscribers by end of March 2016.

– Urban India witnessed a monthly growth rate of –0.40 percent or loss of 2.38 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscriber base increased by 0.67 percent or 3.00 mln.

– Urban India has a total of 586.41 million, while rural India has a total of 447.84 million mobile subscribers.

– Urban India has added 27.63 mln subscribers in last one year, while Urban India has added 33.27 mln

Rural vs Urban subscriber base April 2016

– Urban Teledensity decreased to 147.90 from 148.73 in Mar 2016, while the rural tele-density increased to 51.19 from previous 50.88.

Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 56.70% as compared 43.30% of rural subscribers.

4.91 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of April 2016, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 214.04 mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base decreased from 936.46 million in March 2016 to 934.08 million in April 2016, taking the active percentage to 90.31 percent.

– Delhi remained the circle with highest teledensity of 234.72, while Bihar has the lowest at 54.54. The all-India teledensity currently stands at 83.32

– Total Broadband (> 512 Kbps) subscribers increased from 149.75 Million at the end of Mar- 16 to 151.09 million at the end of Apr-16 with a monthly growth rate of 0.89%.

– Out of 151.09 million broadband users in India, 133.49 million access internet through mobile devices or dongles.

Operator Wise Subscriber Additions [April 2016]

Like we mentioned earlier, BSNL for the first time has topped the charts when it comes to new subscriber additions. It is also very rare that Airtel adds less than 1 million subscribers in a month, which was the case in April 2016. BSNL was the only operator that added over a million subscribers.

Videocon lost big chunk of their subscribers (1.4 mln) in April. Other operators to lose were Idea Cellular, Tata, Telenor and Sistema

Operator Market Share April 2016

Subscriber Additions by Operator in 2016

Bharti Airtel is clearly ahead with 8.93 mln additions since start of the year.  BSNL is having a great 2016 adding second highest number of subscribers followed by Vodafone! Here are subscribers additions for year 2016.

One year additions

Top 8 Mobile Operators in Numbers

Sr. No Telecom Operator Total Subscriber Count ( till April 2016)
1 Bharti Airtel 252,215,493
2 Vodafone 197,993,415
3 Idea Cellular 174,686,433
4 Reliance Communication 102,518,936
5 Aircel 87,659,481
6 BSNL 87,485,250
7 Tata 59,700,689
8 Telewings / Telenor 52,429,453

[Trai Press Release]

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