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India had 1.013 billion active mobile connections in August 2018: TRAI

India added 6.9 million active mobile connections in August 2018, with Airtel, Idea, Reliance Jio and Vodafone accounting for 93% 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 1.013 billion active connections in the month of August 2018.
– Now, Airtel has 98.47% of connections active on its network – the highest among all telcos.
– Vodafone has the second highest active connection base of 92.93%, followed by Idea at 91.56%.

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 can have more active connections than registered connections.

The TRAI really ought to get this data cleaned up.

In terms of the number of active connections, Airtel leads with 340.59 million connections, followed by Vodafone at 208.6 million connections.

Mobile Operator Leaderboard For August 2018 (Total Connections):

– Reliance Jio added 12.18 million connections, taking its connection base to 239.23 million.
– Vodafone added 1.14 million connections, taking its connection base to 224.5 million.
– Airtel 1 million connections, taking its connection base to 345.9 million.

State-wise data

– In terms of active connections, Maharashtra leads with 92.87% active connections, followed by UP (East), Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh has 76.5% active connections, the lowest among all circles.
– UP (East) has the most number of connections, with 102.2 million connections (102,197,746 connections). Maharashtra is second with 94.7 million connections (94,700,053 connections) and Bihar is third with 87.8 million connections (87,799,928 connections).
– Bharti Airtel holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 30%, followed by Reliance Jio at 21%, Idea at 19%, Vodafone at 19% and BSNL at 10%.

The top 4 telcos now have 93% of total active connections:

The top three telecom operators in India – Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular – lost 3.53 million active connections in August 2018. Along with Jio, the top four now account for 93% of active connections.

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