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August 2009: India Adds 15.08M Wireless, 0.18M Broadband Connections


— Teledensity has increased to 42.27% from 41.08%
— Wireless teledensity is up to 39.08 from 37.87%
— Wireline connections registered a decline of 85890 to 37.33 million connections.

Broadband Almost At 7M Connections

India is within sniffing distance of 7 million broadband connections – an addition of 2.65% (around 180,000 broadband connections) during August meant that India  was at 6.98 million broadband connections by the end of August 2009. At the end of August 2008, India had 4.73 million broadband connections. We’re not sure if this takes into account wireless broadband services, such as those launched by Reliance Communications and Tata Indicom.


Wireless growth continued for telecom operators in India, as the country added 15.08 million wireless connections, taking the total number of wireless connections in India to 456.74 million. Keep in mind that these are number of connections, and this data is provided by telecom operators to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India – we’re not aware of how churn is incorporated by telcos. With the addition of new telecom operators, India has entered into an era of multiple SIM card usage, and cities like Delhi have a wireless teledensity of over 100 percent.


Tata Teleservices – rather the combination of Tata DoCoMo (GSM) and Tata Indicom (CDMA) – was the outperformer for the month, with additions of 3.4 million subscribers. The split between GSM and CDMA was not disclosed. Reliance Communications also offers both GSM and CDMA services. Loop Telecom and Sistema Shyam certainly need to get their act together, particularly with other telecom operators – Uninor (Unitech Wireless + Telenor), S-Tel and Swan Telecom yet to launch services.

Expect a bloodbath over the next year or so, and some significant consolidation afterwards. I wouldn’t be surprised if, of 13, we’re left with 7-8 telcos after 3 years.


Wireline subscriber base declined from 37.41 Million in July-2009 to 37.33 Million. Interestingly, Metro circles registered a growth of 17853 wireline connections, while A, B & C class circles, registered a decline.

Of the service providers, BSNL, MTNL and Sistema Shyam reported a decline in total number of connections – the BSNL-MTNL combine still has 85.80 percent of the marketshare, and it’s a shame that the Indian government still hasn’t unbundled the local loop. A net decline of 85,890 wireline connections was reported, with the BSNL-MTNL combine losing around 140,000 subscribers; Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, HFCL and Tata Teleservices reported an increase in wireline connections.


— August 2009 Data: India Adds 9.75 M GSM Connections
July 2009: 14.38M Mobile Connections Added In India; Landlines Sink; Broadband At 6.8M

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