New Delhi: India added approximately 8.6 million GSM subscribers in June, the lowest in 31 months, according to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
This number is almost a million subscribers lower than last month’s figure. Indian companies using GSM-based technology added 8 million mobile phone users in November 2008.
According to the latest data, the total number of GSM subscribers in the country stood at 598.7 million at the end of June. India’s largest mobile phone firm by subscribers, Bharti Airtel Ltd, retained its leadership with a 28.26% subscriber market share comprising 169.18 million users.
Vodafone Essar Ltd came in second with 141.5 million subscribers making up 23.63% of the market. Idea Cellular Ltd is third with 95.1 million subscribers accounting for 15.88% of the market.
“The fall in the additions shows that there are fewer subscribers left to add in the urban centres where the older GSM operators are strongest and whatever subscribers are being added are in the rural and semi-urban areas where the older operators are present and the newer operators like Uninor are steadily rolling out services and gaining a foothold,” said a Mumbai-based analyst with a multinational brokerage firm, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media. “There is also significant proof in the numbers to show that the operators have been able to curb the destructive dual-SIM phenomenon that had arisen due to the tariff war.”
According to the data, the national capital has the highest number of GSM subscribers with 25.5 million subscribers, closely followed by Mumbai with 21.6 million.
Overall, the eastern Uttar Pradesh circle has the highest number of connections with 49.6 million, followed by Tamil Nadu with 46.2 million and Andhra Pradesh with 44.9 million subscribers.