This is unusual: According to the Indian Telecom regulator TRAI, India added more “Active” mobile connections during the month of August 2013, than it did total connections. This could mean either of two things: firstly, that a number of users who were active briefly during the month canceled their connections, or a number of users who hadn’t been using their extra SIM card, began using it. The latter case sounds plausible since call rates have gone up, and the propensity to use an additional SIM for cheaper calls might have increased. During August 2013, India added 1.84 million total connections, while the total active connections increased by 4.52 million.

Note that the number of mobile users in the country is likely to be much less that the 735.91 million active connection base (which is around 83.94% of the total), since this includes multi-SIM users, and the TRAI mistakenly reports “connections” as subscribers.

The other thing worth noticing is the dominance of the top three telecom operators, as well as the top four: The combination of Airtel, Idea and Vodafone, which tends to increase rates together, accounts for 53.9% of the total mobile connections in India, and 61.7% of the active connections. That dominance is increasing: they accounted for 81.42% of connections added (even though Vodafone’s total connection base declined during the month), and 59.72% of active connection growth.

telecom-operators-trai

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The split between various telecom operators, in terms of active connections:

TRAI Active Aug 2013

Active Connection Base

The Active connection data represents peak VLR (Visitor Location Register) data for the month. Some stats:

– There were 735.91 million active connection in the month of August.
– Idea has 97.80% of its connections active – the maximum among all the operators.
– Vodafone has the second highest active connection base of 95.94%, followed by Airtel at 95.05%.

In terms of the number of active connections, Airtel leads with 182.70 million connections followed by Vodafone at 148.07 million connections.

TRAI Telcos Aug 2013

TRAI net subscribers aug 2013

Mobile Operator Leaderboard For August 2013:

– Aircel added 0.87 million connections, taking its connection base to 62.60 million.
– Airtel added 0.83 million connections, taking its connection base to 192.22 million.
– Idea added 0.75 million connections, taking its connection base to 126.02 million.
– RCOM added 0.51 million connections, taking its connection base to 126.75 million.

TRAI Circles Aug 2013

– In terms of active connections, Maharashtra leads with 89.82% active connections, followed by Assam, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has just 73.47% active connections, the lowest among all circles.

– UP (East) has the most number of connections, with 74,396,560 connections. Tamil Nadu is second with 73,359,689 connections and Maharashtra is third, with 68,601,705 connections.

– Bharti Airtel holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 21.93%, followed by Vodafone at 17.60%, Reliance at 14.46%, Idea at 14.37% and BSNL at 11.17%

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Related:

July 2013: India Has 15.24M Broadband, 731.39M Active Mobile Connections
– June 2013: India Has 15.19M Broadband, 731.44M Active Mobile Connections
– May 2013: India Has 15.13M Broadband, 727.92M Active Mobile Connections
– April 2013: India Has 15.09M Broadband Connections; 724.48M Active Mobile Base
– March 2013: India Has 15.05M Broadband Connections; 722.96M Active Mobile Base
– February 2013: India Has 15M Broadband Connections; 712.5M Active Mobile Connections