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June 2010: India Added Over 12.29 Million GSM Connections

India added over 12.29 million connections* in June 2010, according to data released by a representative body of most GSM telecom operators in India – COAI. The total GSM connection base – not subscriber base** – is at least*** 440.27 million.

– Bharti Airtel had clocked the highest increase in connections – up by 3 million for the month, for a few months now. Airtel now has 136.62 million connections.

– Vodafone added 2.71 million connections, up to 109.06 million connections. It’s the second largest GSM operator, and registered the second highest growth in terms of GSM connections

– Idea Cellular is increasing the gap between it and BSNL: Idea now has 68.88 million connections, compared to BSNLs 66.72 million. Idea added around double the number of connections when compared with BSNL, for the month.

– Uninor added a million connections for the month. Last month, Uninor had churned out connections who hadn’t used their connection for 60 days. The norm appears to be 6 months, given that some connections are on lifetime prepaid plans. Uninor now has 6.02 million connections.

– Etisalat DB, which has launched operations as ‘Cheers’ is growing, but slowly: they haven’t yet done any significant marketing (at least from what I’ve sene), and have 18,196 connections, a drop in the ocean of India’s mobile connection base. Their connection base grow 79.77%, but frankly, that number doesn’t mean much on a tiny connection base.

– Videocon, in its second month of operations, added 547,821 connections,  to finish the month with 1.94 connections, up 39.28% from 1.39 million connections. That was quick.

Circle Wise Additions

– Tamil Nadu and UP (East) are still in close competition to be the circle with most connections, though consolidated, UP is the state with the maximum connections. Tamil Nadu currently a connection base of 36.11 million, marginally higher than UP (East) at 36.02 million connections. Tamil Nadu added the most connections – 1.27 million, followed by UP (East) at 1.22 million.

– Andhra Pradesh has 33.32 million connections, the third highest number of connections

– Among metro circles, Delhi has the most connections at 18.66 connections, ahead of Mumbai with 17.52 connections


*- Note that it is likely that churn is incorporated only after 6 months in case of most telecom operators, so the month-on-month active base is likely to be lower than that mentioned.
** – Due to rampant multi-SIM usage in India, it is likely that even though this is being referred to by telecom operators as a subscriber base, it effectively represents the connection base, with many subscribers owning multiple connections.
*** – The COAI data has static (old) figures for Reliance Communications’ GSM operations, and doesn’t take into account Tata Docomo data. MediaNama has thus taken into account data without RCOM-GSM and Tata Docomo.

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