According to a report by ICICIdirect.com Research, GSM mobile phone subscribers grew unabated in August, boosted by the launch of GSM services by various players in markets they were not present in earlier. August recorded the highest growth in new GSM mobile services subscribers after April, at 135 lakh.
The highest growth was seen in C circles, which added 20 lakh subscribers, after acquiring only nine lakh new subscribers in July. In contrast, net additions declined in metros. While the metros recorded a monthly growth of 2.3 per cent, A and B circles grew by 3.1 per cent, and C circles grew by 3.2 per cent in August.
Interestingly, Bharti Airtel saw a slowing down in its growth rate. It added 20 lakh subscribers, the lowest in several quarters, the report said. Its past seven months’ growth had averaged at 29 lakh subscribers, and the August decline was over the second month in a row. Bharti Airtel’s subscriber base is 1,413 lakh, which gives it a market share of 30.4 per cent among GSM service players.
Newcomer Uninor recorded its highest ever net subscriber addition of 22 lakh. It got its maximum new subscribers from Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
BSNL turned in an even more impressive 23 lakh subscribers added on in August, with Haryana, Rajasthan and Orissa giving it its maximum new subscribers. This number was impressive considering that BSNL’s average monthly growth over the previous four months was 11 lakh.
Idea, Vodafone and Aircel maintained the same monthly growth rate as recorded in recent months. They added 20 lakh, 23 lakh and 16 lakh subscribers in August respectively. Aircel, which launched in three new states in August, including Punjab, picked up an impressive 96,248 new subscribers in Punjab itself.
Videocon, which launched its services in eight new states, added 9 lakh subscribers to its 28 lakh in July.