GSM Subscription Rate Up In Sept; 2.5M Users Switch Operators In Aug

By Anand Rai

  • 21 Oct 2011

Since the nationwide launch of mobile number portability (MNP) in January this year, around 18 million mobile subscribers have already submitted requests to switch their service providers while retaining their phone numbers, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). As many as 2.51 million people opted for MNP in the month of August itself.

Videocon suffered for the second straight month (most probably due to MNP) since more than 0.6 million Videoon subscribers opted out of their connections. The company had lost close to 0.1 million subscribers in the month of July.

Meanwhile, the total number of telephone subscribers in India inched up to 899.78 million at the end of August 2011 from 892.55 million at the end of July 2011.


The wireless segment’s (GSM, CDMA, FWP) total subscriber base increased to 865.71 million at the end of August 2011 from 858.37 million in July 2011. Bharti Airtel continued to be the top player with more than 170 million subscribers (19.85 per cent); Reliance Communications came second followed by Vodafone.

Out of the 865.71 million wireless subscribers, only 608.63 million subscribers were active on as per the peak visitor location register (VLR) for the month of August 2011 (although the data excludes the CDMA VLR figure of BSNL). The proportion of VLR subscribers was approximately 70.30 per cent of the total wireless subscriber base. Idea led the tally with 91.55 per cent of VLR subscribers followed by Bharti Airtel.

The wire-line segment’s subscriber base continued to decrease and dropped from 34.18 million in July 2011 to 34.07 million at the end of August 2011. BSNL dominated the market with more than 24.4 million subscribers, although it suffered a decline in the user base. MTNL came second followed closely by Bharti Airtel.


The total broadband subscriber base increased marginally to 12.69 million in August 2011 from 12.50 million in July 2011, showing a growth of 1.46 per cent.

GSM Subscriber Additions Up In September After Six Months Of Sequential Decline: COAI

For the past six months(beginning March) the new net additions to total GSM subscriber base was falling sequentially each month(see table).


This changed in the month of September which saw net addition of 6.52 million users as against 5.33 million in August.

The total number of GSM subscribers reached 618.28 million from 611.76 million in the previous month. Private telecom operator Uninor added the most number of subscribers in the month of September (1.92 million) followed by Idea Cellular(1.73 million).

Among the new comers besides Uninor only Videocon has more than 1 per cent market share in GSM category and it has also seen a decline in users in September. Others like Etisalat, S Tel and Loop are bit players in the market which shows he younger players have not made much dent in the market.


The market is completely dominated by the top 6 or 7 players who account for more than 92 per cent of the total market.

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