The waxing and waning of additions per month to India’s telecom market continue with April 2009 adding 11.9 million wireless connections – down by a third from 15.64 million in March. In January, the country recorded 15.41 million additions but this fell to 13.44 million in February and rose again in March only to deflate in April.
The total number of telephone connections in the country is now 441.47 million, which is 43.09% higher on a year on year basis. The teledensity is at 37.94%, up from 36.98% last month, telecom regulatory body TRAI reports. Bear in mind that there is still potential for growth, since many people own multiple phones.
More on Wireless, Broadband and Wireline:
Wireless Subscribers Cross 400 Million
There are now 403.66 million wireless connections (GSM/CDMA/WLL) in the country, up by 3% from last month.
In our previous report on GSM market, we had noted how mobile growth in metros was least in February and that C-class circles were zooming ahead with 4.77% growth per month. This time again C class circles recorded 5.51% growth, just a tad lower than March’s 5.93%. North East has overtaken Orissa with respect to growth with 6.1% increase in connections as of April.
Bharti Airtel has announced its customer base is now over 100 million. In March, Bharti Airtel had 93.9 million mobile subscribers and in April 96.7 million.
Airtel had 25 million customers in July 2006, 50 million in October 2007 and 75 million by August 2008. The operator is the largest in the country and rising as one of the top ten operators in the world.
Airtel’s market share has been dropping this year – from 33.04% in January to 32.88% in February; 32.57% in March and 32.44% in April.
Landlines Dip; BSNL Loses Most
Bharti added 30,014 landline connections and has a total of 2.75 million landline connections under its belt. Reliance added 7,129 connections while Tata Teleservices added 10,884 connections. MTNL made a turnaround and added 2703 landlines but its PSU contemporary BSNL continues to lose landline customers on a large scale – it recorded 196,600 disconnections during April 2009.
Rookie player HFCL saw a reduction of 173 landlines from its subscriber base but another new telco Sistema Shyam suffered more – it lost 6701 landline customers during April. It seems obvious that new entrants are fumbling in the landline market will continue to lose out as the base constricts, so why are they even playing in this field? Unless they have a viable marketing strategy – like bundling landline with other services – they will continue to suffer. If discussions on enabling VoIP for domestic calls go through, these telcos will face a bigger threat soon.
Mumbai and Delhi seem to be adding landlines – 15,236 and 16,540 were added this month respectively in the metros. Chennai (with 2916 additions) and Kolkata also saw a minor increase with all other states showing a fall. UP West, again the more urbanised half of UP, saw the maximum number of additions at 41,114 landlines.
Broadband Growth in 2008-09 Falls Compared to 2007-08
There are 6.28 million Broadband connections as of April 09. It is discomforting to see that the number of internet connections being added in the country is falling compared to last year. Between April 07 and April 08, it grew by 65.02% from 2.43 million to 4.01 million but this has plateaued to 56.61% growth between April 08 and 09. The connections added per month have fallen drastically this year – 0.06 million were added in April 2009 compared to just 0.11 million in the same month last year.
— 9.18M GSM Subscribers Added in Feb ‘09; TRAI Slashes Interconnection Fees
— Mar-09 India Telecom Stats: 15.64M Wireless Added, 10.68M GSM; 6.22M Broadband; Wireline UP!
– Feb-09 Stats: 376.1M Mobile, 5.85M Broadband Connections; Data Cards & WiMax?