India added 5.77 million active mobile connections in March 2017, and unlike last month, some telecom operators including Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, and BSNL reported an increase in their base, recovering from the competitive pressure in the industry. However, all other telcos have lost subscribers. Reliance Jio, on the other hand, added the highest number of active connections (4.10 million) in the month. Jio reported 79.74 million active connections; India reported a total active connection base of 1016.41 million.

The Active Connection data includes users roaming on another telecom operators network. For example, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone have Intra-circle roaming arrangements which allow 3G users from Airtel to roam on an Idea 3G network. These are counted as separate mobile connections, and there is also multi-SIM usage, so the number of connections should not be seen as active users. This explains why Idea Cellular has over 100% active users.

It’s worth noting that this month, Idea surpassed Vodafone in total active connections. The two companies are merging, and Vodafone still has higher total connections. RCOM, Tata Tele, MTS, Telenor, MTNL and Aircel each showed a decline in total number of active users. For each of these, the number of their registered connections active is fairly low. For example, only 55.7% of MTNL’s connection base is active, while in case of Telenor, it was around 72.4%.

Some stats:

– Airtel has 265.73 million active mobile connections, the highest among telecom operators
– There were 1016.41 million active connections in the month of March 2017.
– Idea has 101.52% of connections active on its network – the highest among all telcos.
– Reliance Jio, with as many as 108 million connections at the end of March 2017, reported that only 73.38% of its registered connection base was active: around 79.74 million of them.

In terms of the total number of connections, Airtel leads with 273.64 million connections followed by Vodafone at 209.06 million, and Idea at 195.36 million connections.

Mobile Operator Leaderboard For March 2017 (Total Connections):

– Reliance Jio added 5.83 million connections, taking its connection base to 108.68 million.
– Airtel added 2.99 million connections, taking its connection base to 273.64 million.
– Idea added 2.09 million connections, taking its connection base to 195.36 million.

Top 4 telcos have 72% of total active connections

The top three telecom operators in India – Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular – added 7.08 million active connections in March 2017, accounting for 65% of active connections, and increased 123% of total active added connections. Along with Reliance Communications, the top four now account for 72% of active connections.

Their growth is outpacing the rest, as, together, they accounted for more active connections during the month (65%) than all the telecom operators combined, while some of the rest lost connections.

Statewise data

– In terms of active connections, Madhya Pradesh leads with 91.97% active connections, followed by Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.     Himachal Pradesh has just 78.10% active connections, the lowest among all circles.

– UP (East) has the most number of connections, with 104.55 million connections (104,553,761 connections). Maharashtra is second with 93.89 million connections (93,898,514 connections) and Tamil Nadu is third with 89.25 million connections (89,252,798 connections).

– Bharti Airtel holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 23.39%, followed by Vodafone at 17.87%, Idea at 16.70%, Reliance Jio at 9.29% and BSNL at 8.63%.

Download: Press Release


Only 73.56% of Jio’s 102 million connections were active in Feb 2017: TRAI Data
Active mobile connections in India up by 19M in December 2016: TRAI
Active mobile connections in India up by 21M in October 2016: TRAI
Active mobile connections in India declined by 17M in June 2016: TRAI
Active mobile connections in India declined by 1.5M in May 2016: TRAI
Active Mobile connections in India declined by 2.4 million in April 2016: TRAI
India had 936 million active mobile connections in March 2016: TRAI
India added 7.63M active mobile connections in February 2016
India added 5.57M active mobile connections in January’16
India added 4.92M active mobile connections in December’15; RCOM Loses 5.92M