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India had 1.010 billion active mobile connections in April 2018: TRAI

India added 12.53 million active mobile connections in April 2018, with Airtel, Idea, Reliance Jio and Vodafone accounting for 91% of total active mobile connections in India, according to data released by TRAI. Aircel is down to zero since they are now defunct.

The active connections data represents peak VLR (Visitor Location Register) data for the month. Some stats:
– There were 1.010 billion active connections in the month of April 2018.
– Now, Airtel has 106.33% of connections active on its network – the highest among all telcos.
– Idea has the second highest active connection base of 95.99%, followed by Vodafone at 95.42%.

IMPORTANT: There’s likely to be a high amount of double or triple-counting here, given acquisition of Telenor and Tata Tele customers by Airtel. TRAI says the percentage of active connections is more than 100% due to in-roamers i.e. subscribers from other operators roaming in Airtel’s network. It’s possible that as per the current format of notifications, Airtel, Tata Tele and Telenor customers are roaming on each other’s network. That should explain why Airtel has over 19 million more active connections than registered connections.

The TRAI really ought to get this data cleaned up.


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In terms of the number of active connections, Airtel leads with 328.23 million connections, followed by Vodafone at 211.86 million connections.

Mobile Operator Leaderboard For April 2018 (Total Connections):

– Reliance Jio added 9.6 million connections, taking its connection base to 196 million.
– Idea added 5.5 million connections, taking its connection base to 216.76 million.
– Airtel added 4.5 million connections, taking its connection base to 308.69 million.

Statewise data

– In terms of active connections, West Bengal leads with 95.34% active connections, followed by Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh has 80.59% active connections, the lowest among all circles.
– UP (East) has the most number of connections, with 99.23 million connections (99,236,869 connections). Maharashtra is second with 94.8 million connections (94,795,487 connections) and Andhra Pradesh is third with 84.2 million connections (84,217,446 connections).
– Bharti Airtel holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 27%, followed by Vodafone at 20%, Idea at 19%, Reliance Jio at 17% and BSNL at 10%.

The top 4 telcos now have 91% of total active connections:

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The top three telecom operators in India – Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular – added 5.85 million active connections in April 2018, accounting for 74% of active connections. Along with Jio, the top four now account for 91% of active connections.

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