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Airtel adds 2.63M active connections; higher than Jio’s 0.37M active additions: TRAI

India added 4.20 active million mobile connections in April 2017, taking the total active mobile connection base to 1.01 billion, according to TRAI’s latest telecom subscription numbers. Telecom operators including Idea, Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL and Jio reported an increase in their base. However, all other telcos (MTNL, MTS, Aircel, Telenor, RCOM and Tata Docomo) have lost subscribers. Airtel added the highest number of active connections (2.63 million) in the month. Airtel’s active connection base stood at 268.37 million.

New entrant Reliance Jio, however, added only 375,556 active connection during April, taking its total active connection base to 80.12 million. This is only 71.19% of Jio’s overall mobile connection base which stood at 112.55 million. This is a slower growth for Jio in the month of April; in March it added 4.1 million active mobile connections. Note that the active connection base of Jio fell from a 73.56% share as of February to 71.19% in April.

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 52.33% of MTNL’s connection base is active, while in case of Aircel, it was around 64.17%.

Some stats:

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– Airtel has 268.37 million active mobile connections, the highest among telecom operators
– Overall active mobile connection base (including all operators) grew by 0.42% in the month of April 2017
– Idea has 101.49% of connections active on its network – the highest among all telcos.
– Reliance Jio reported a 0.47% growth in active connections, while Airtel reported a 0.99% growth


In terms of the total number of connections, Airtel leads with 276.50 million connections followed by Vodafone at 209.81 million, and Idea at 196.05 million connections. State operated telco BSNL had 101.8 million total mobile connections.

Mobile Operator Leaderboard For April 2017 (Total Connections):

– Reliance Jio added 3.87 million connections, taking its connection base to 112.55 million.
– Airtel added 2.85 million connections, taking its connection base to 276.50 million.

Top 4 telcos have 72% of total active connections

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The top three telecom operators in India – Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular – added 3.60 million active connections in April 2017, accounting for 66% of active connections, and increased 85.71% 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 (66%) than all the telecom operators combined, while some of the rest lost connections.

Statewise data

– In terms of active connections, Madhya Pradesh leads with 91.18% active connections, followed by Maharashtra, Kerala and Bihar.     Himachal Pradesh has just 78.41% active connections, the lowest among all circles.

– UP (East) has the most number of connections, with 105.01 million connections (105,019,275 connections). Maharashtra is second with 94.43 million connections (94,439,100 connections) and Tamil Nadu is third with 89.42 million connections (89,426,616 connections).

– Bharti Airtel holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 23.54%, followed by Vodafone at 17.86%, Idea at 16.69%, Reliance Jio at 9.58% and BSNL at 8.67%.

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Download: Press Release


Only 73.38% of Jio’s 108 million connections were active in March 2017: TRAI Data
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

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