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December 2010: India Has 529.21M Active Mobile Connections

Update: VLR data for active subscribers is taken for a period of 72 hours from the last day of the month.

India’s mobile connection base has reported an increase of 3.10 percent to 752.19 million in December 2010, from 729.56 million in the month of November, according to the Telecom Regulator TRAI.  It has also published, the Visitor Location Register (VLR) numbers provided to it by telecom operators. VLR numbers are an indicator of the active connections at the time.

Now keep in mind that the following Active user information is for the last day of the month i.e, 31st December 2010. This means, that any user whose phone was inactive that day, or was using that SIM for the entire day, will be shown as an active subscriber for the telecom operator. All but three Telecom operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and the Idea Cellular-Spice combination has active subscribers above the national average. Everyone else, we’ve marked in red:

TRAI calculates VLR data on the basis of active subscribers in the VLR on the last working day (Monday to Friday) of the particular month for which the data is being collected, in this case December. This data is to be taken from switches having the purge time of not more than 72 hours.

This should be seen in the context of  a multi SIM environment.

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In our opinion, TRAI should normalize this VLE data over the month, and report the number of active connections for the month and not just the last 72 hours. Still, we recommend that you that consider the data for “All Telco’s”, rather than the split between operators.

Comparing this to the Active Subscriber Data in September 2010, reveals that there has been an increase of about 11% in the number of active subscribers.

GSM And CDMA Split

As a consequence of these disclosures, we also have detailed information on the GSM-CDMA split for Tata Teleservices and to some extent, of RCOM. If we assume that RTL is entirely GSM, then the company’s GSM connection base is higher than its CDMA base:

The active base of  Tata’s GSM(Tata Docomo+Virgin Mobile GSM) user base continues to remain low.

In additional, India has only 10.92 million broadband connections, though this does not take into account the total number of dialup connections, and probably excludes the EVDO and 3G based data card connections as well.

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Mobile Leaderboard For December 2010:

– Vodafone added 3.09 million connections taking its connection base to 124.25 million by end of December 2010. It’s closing in on RCOM.
– Bharti Airtel added 3.10 million connections, taking its connection base to 152.49 million.
– Reliance Communications added 3.28 million connections, taking its base to 125.65 million
– BSNL added 2.97 million connections, taking its base to 86.70 million
– Idea Cellular added 2.95 million connections, taking its base to 81.77 million
– Among new telecom operators, Uninor continued to gain momentum, with 2.31 million connections added, taking its base to 18.51 million.

Among the metro cities, Delhi with a 2.60% change (901,267 connections) in total wireless connection base, added the maximum number of wireless connections for the month of December. Mumbai added 454,257 connections.

– 12 circles added over 1 million connections: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, U.P.(E), U.P.(W), West Bengal, Karnataka, Punjab and Rajasthan.
– Tamil Nadu has the most connections, with 66,806,709 connections. UP (East) second with 57,995,034 and Andhra Pradesh is third, with 57,073,313 connections.
– Bharti Airtel holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 20.27%, Reliance 16.70%, Vodafone 16.52%.
– Companies like HFCL and Etisalat hold a mere 0.21% and 0.04% of the market share respectively.
*- New Telcos: Datacom/Videocon, Loop Telecom, MTS/Sistema, Swan Telecom/Etisalat, S Tel, Uninor

Download TRAI Data for December 2010

Nov 2010: India Has 729.57M Mobile Connections; 10.71M Broadband
Updated: Sep 2010: 482.89 M Active Mobile Connections In India

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