September 2009 Sees 9.01 Million New GSM Subscribers Added

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September 2009 Sees 9.01 Million New GSM Subscribers AddedCellular Operators Association of India (COAI) recently shared the GSM base figures for September 2009 and it comes as no surprise to see that GSM Subscriber growth has slowed down even further... the healthy growth of 10.8 million subscribers (March 2009) is a thing of the past and recent numbers of 9.89 million, 9.74 million and 9.01 million have been haunting Telecom analysts since July, August and September, respectively.

While the total no. of GSM users reported by COAI increased from 335.42 million to 344.43 million (individual operator split below) the Top 5 gainers in terms of net subscriber additions were Bharti Airtel (25.14 lacs), Vodafone-Essar (19.71 lacs), Idea Cellular (13.95 lacs) closely followed by BSNL (13.02 lacs) and Aircel (12.93 lacs).

OperatorsAug-09Sep-09
Bharti Airtel107,996,533110,511,416
Vodafone Essar80,874,46082,846,046
BSNL52,056,41753,358,992
IDEA Cellular50,058,47151,454,402
Aircel24,380,08025,673,515
Reliance GSM13,281,22513,723,380
MTNL4,352,7814,369,502
Loop2,417,4462,495,087
TOTAL BASE REPORTED335,417,413344,432,340

While the subscriber additions may look encouraging, a closer look at the GSM Market share (basis the figures reported by COAI) show a decline in the stake of the leading telcos - Bharti Airtel (-0.11%), Vodafone-Essar (-0.06%) and BSNL (-0.03%). The biggest gainer continues to be Aircel (+0.19%) in spite of the fact that it has not had any launces since the Maharashtra-Goa circle rollout.

OperatorsAug-09Sep-09
Bharti Airtel32.20%32.09%
Vodafone Essar24.11%24.05%
BSNL15.52%15.49%
IDEA Cellular14.92%14.94%
Aircel7.27%7.45%
Reliance GSM (old)3.96%3.98%
MTNL1.30%1.27%
Loop0.72%0.72%
TOTAL MARKET100.00%100.00%

NOTE: Data of CDMA Operators Reliance, Tata Indicom & MTS are not a part of this story which is on the GSM growth. Also, data for Reliance GSM (new circles) and Tata DoCoMo has not been shared by COAI.

You can read earlier stories on the June, July and August 2009 GSM Subscriber base growth by clicking on any of the month names.

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