News From Telecom World

India reaches 277m GSM subscribers in Feb

Posted on: March 11, 2009

India added 9.18 million GSM subscribers in February to take the total to 277.12 million, according to figures published by industry body the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Tuesday.

In January the country recorded GSM additions of 9.69 million, but the February figure does not include Reliance Telecom, which has yet to provide its latest numbers. With the inclusion of Reliance’s net adds – the telco added 391,000 new GSM users in January – the growth rate is likely to be flat month-on-month.

Bharti Airtel cemented its position as the country’s leading operator by adding 2.73 million new users last month, almost exactly the number it signed up in January.

Bharti now has a GSM base of 91.11 million customers and a market share of 32.88%, slightly down on the 32.99% it recorded a month ago.

Number two operator Vodafone Essar boasts a market share of 23.79%, having added 2.58 million customers in February, up from the 2.41 million it added in January. Vodafone Essar’s total GSM customer base stands at 65.92 million.

Having added 1.51 million customers last month and 1.31 million the month before, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) remains a distant third, its 44.18 million-strong subscriber base giving it a 15.94% share of the market.

And fourth-placed Idea Cellular, which is hot on BSNL’s heels, has gained some ground.

Idea has a customer base of 41.52 million and a 14.98% share of the market, putting it just 0.6 of a percentage point behind BSNL. The gap was 0.9 of a percentage point a month earlier.

Smaller players Aircel, Reliance Telecom, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and BPL have less than 13% of the market between them, although again, this does not take into account Reliance’s February numbers and the operator, a new entrant in the GSM space, is growing rapidly.

Source: Total Telecom

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