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India had 1.0217 billion active mobile connections in October 2018: TRAI

India added 8.5 million active mobile connections in October 2018, with Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio accounting for 94% of total active mobile connections in India, according to data released by the TRAI. The active connection data represents peak VLR (Visitor Location Register) data for the month.

Some stats:
– There were 1.0217 billion active connections in the month of October 2018
– Now, Airtel has 99.57% of connections active on its network – the highest among all telcos
– Vodafone Idea has the second highest active connection base with 399.93 million, where Vodafone and Idea were having 94.47% and 92.52% active connections

IMPORTANT: There’s likely to be a high amount of double or triple counting here, given the 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 networks. 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, Vodafone Idea leads with 399.93 million connections, followed by Airtel at 340.19 million connections.

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Mobile Operator Leaderboard For October 2018 (Total Connections) –

– Reliance Jio added 10.5 million connections, taking its connection base to 252.25 million.
– BSNL added 363,991 connections, taking its connection base to 113.05 million.
– Virtual Network Operator (VNO) of BSNL has reported 22,935 connections in October 2018.

State-wise data

– In terms of active connections, West Bengal leads with 96.43% active connections, followed by Maharashtra, North East, and Assam. Himachal Pradesh has 75.38% active connections, the lowest among all circles.
– UP (East) has the most number of connections, with 101.76 million connections (101,759,752 connections). Maharashtra is second with 94.5 million connections (94,508,375 connections) and Bihar is third with 87.4 million connections (87,452,310 connections).
– Vodafone Idea holds the maximum percentage market share of wireless connections at 37%, followed by Bharti Airtel at 29%, Reliance Jio at 22%, and BSNL at 10%.

The top 3 telcos now have 94% of total active connections:

The top two telecom operators in India – Vodafone Idea and Airtel – added only 498,593 million active connections in October 2018. Along with Jio, the top three now account for 94% of active connections.


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