India’s GSM mobile operators added 8.93 million subscribers to their networks in April-2009, taking total GSM subscribers to 297.7 million, according to data released by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India. This was lower than a 10.8 million GSM users added in the previous month, mainly due to lower subscriber additions by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam(BSNL) that added 1.04 million mobile customers in April, down from 2.5 million in March.
Leading mobile operator Bharti Airtel added 2.81 million mobile users in April to have a total of 96.74 million, while third-ranked Vodafone Essar signed up 2.77 million mobile users to have a total of 71.54 million.Reliance Communications, which had 72.67 million subscribers at end-March, expanded its GSM mobile services to all the service areas of the country in January, but the majority of its customers are still on rival CDMA technology.
Growth in C Circle stood at 3.49mn, taking the area’s total subscriber base to 400mn, while the B Circle added 13.35mn new subscribers, taking its total to 111.16mn. GSM operators in the A circle saw their total customer base increase by 23.32mn to 104.55mn while the Metro Circle added 8.35mn new subscribers to 41.97mn.
Among the companies, Vodafone Essar added 2.77mn new users in April, taking its total base to 71.54mn while market leader Bharti Airtel saw its total base rise by 2.81mn to 96.73mn. Idea Cellular added 1.11mn new customers, boosting its subscriber base to 44.13mn, while Aircel increased its base by over 1.1mn to 19.58mn.
BSNL added 1.03mn new customers, taking its reach to 47.72mn. MTNL added 45,553 new customers, boosting its total base to 4.22mn. Loop Mobile added 40,465 new subscribers, taking its total to 2.2mn.
Bharti Airtel continues to be the top GSM operator in the country, with a market share of 32.49% followed by Vodafone Essar at 24.03%, BSNL at 16.03% and Idea at 14.83%
The data does not include Reliance Communications Ltd, India’s second-largest mobile operator (CDMA and GSM), which reports figures separately. Tata Teleservices which operates on CDMA, monthly additions are reported separately.