Massive Disconnection of Inactive SIMs – Negative Growth on GSM Subscriber Base in November 2012

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India’s GSM operators lost 9.38 million subscribers in November, taking the total subscriber base to 663.78 million, with none of the service providers adding a single user during the month the fall of 1.34 per cent from the October 2012, was attributed to the disconnection by operators.


For the last couple of months, telecom companies have been steadily losing customers following disconnection of inactive subscribers. The companies were disconnecting users who were inactive for more than 60 days from their networks. The top three operators Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular - lost nearly 6.74 million users in November, according to the data released Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

Airtel lost 2.80 million users, depleting its total to 183.61 million as of November 30, 2012, even though it maintained its leadership position with a 27.66 per cent market share. Vodafone India lost 2.38 million users during the month under review, and posted a total of 150.77 million users, while it maintained its second-rung slot with a 22.71 per cent market share. Idea Cellular, lost 1.56 million users taking its total subscriber base to 114.14 million. The country’s fourth largest operator had a market share of 17.20 per cent.

Aircel lost 1.46 million users, Uninor 4.37 lakh and Videocon 3.8 million users in November. In October, the operators added about 2.40 lakh users, arresting a two-month fall and increasing the total subscriber to 671.91 million.

In October, COAI members added 2.40 lakh subscribers taking the total subscriber base to 671.91 million users.

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