New Delhi: India added a record 7.7 million mobile users in October to its Global System for Mobile communications (GSM)-based networks, an industry body said, as operators maintained rapid expansion despite signs of a slowing economy.
Total GSM mobile users at the end of October numbered 241.4 million, up 3.3% from 233.7 million in September, data from the Cellular Operators’ Association of India, which represents nine telecom firms, showed on Tuesday.
The October user additions do not include signings by No. 2 operator Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom).
RCom, which predominantly uses code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology but has some GSM customers, had 56.1 million total wireless users at end-September.
On the go: The number of GSM mobile users rose 3.3% in October. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
The company releases its monthly additions separately.
Top operator Bharti Airtel Ltd added 2.72 million new users in October, taking its total base to 80.2 million, while Vodafone Group Plc.-controlled Vodafone Essar Ltd added its highest ever number of new users—2.1 million—to take its base to 56.7 million.
Public sector operator and fourth ranked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd added 669,551 new users to have a base of 39.8 million users, while fifth ranked Idea Cellular Ltd signed up 1.2 million users in October to have a total of 31.6 million.
Asia’s third largest economy is the world’s fastest growing market for mobile phone services and the second largest market for such services after China.