Aircel started as a regional player in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu in the year 1999. It was providing services as a regional player for many years and started to expand slowly circle by circle from the year 2006 onwards, after the controversial acquisition by Maxis Communication Berhard of Malaysia. Then it has become a national player only during the year 2009.
But BSNL started its operation, though a little bit late, in the year 2003-04 on pan India basis except in two metros Mumbai and Delhi.
As per TRAI Report for the month of February 2015, such a small player AIRCLE now surpassed the mobile numbers of such a behemoth BSNL, replaces it as a 5th largest mobile service provider. Now BSNL is the 6th largest mobile service provider.
But Wikipedia states that “Aircel became 5th largest telecom service provider in January 15 after the announcement of telecom minister that public operator BSNL lost so many customers and became 6th largest after Aircel”.
At end of February 2015 BSNL’s total mobile subscriber base is reduced to 7.76 Crores from 8.01 Crores and lost 25.53 lakh subscribers only during February. During the whole year upto February 2015, BSNL lost 1.71 Crs of mobile customers. Whereas Aircel added 9.15 lakh subscriber during February and overall subscriber base is 8.05 Crs.
BSNL was the country’s second largest mobile operator by March 2006, then slowly dipped its position one by one now it has come down to the level of 6th position.
The first positions is occupied by Airtel with 22.31 Crs subscribers followed Vodafone, Idea, RCOM occupy 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions respectively.
The Niche area in which BSNL was dominated is the Broad Band Services. But now even in the Strongest Broadband services also BSNL is failing to achieve significant growth. It occupied the No.1 position in the Broadband services for a very long period, but during the month of December 2014, the Airtel replaces it as the India’s largest broadband service provider with 19.19 million subscribers pushing down BSNL to the second place with 18.90 million.
Article authored by J.S.SOUNDARARAJAN
An IT professional who has got great passion for telecom. Has been closely watching Indian telecom space since 2009.