New Delhi: Indian mobile phone firms signed up 10.35 million users in November, slightly fewer than the previous month’s record but maintaining pacy growth in a slowing economy.
The country’s total wireless subscriber base at the end of November stood at 336.08 million, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday, a rise of 49% from an year earlier.
The user base grew nearly 44% in the 11 months to November, or 102.45 million new additions, the data showed. Firms added an all-time high 10.42 million customers in October.
Fast growth: India is the world’s second largest wireless market. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Calls rates as low as 1 cent (71 paise) a minute and cheap handsets are driving demand in India, the world’s fastest growing wireless market. Operators are now expanding infrastructure to cover untapped smaller towns and villages to hook new users.
India is the second largest wireless market in the world, trailing only China with at least 600 million mobile users.
Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel Ltd, which added 2.72 million new users in November, taking its total subscriber base to 82.9 million, led the additions. No. 2 Reliance Communications Ltd added 1.77 million users to have a total of 59.6 million, while third ranked Vodafone Essar Ltd gained 2.06 million subscribers to 58.8 million.
Other mobile operators include Idea Cellular Ltd, Tata Teleservices Ltd, Aircel and state-run firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.