December sees record 32 lakh GSM subscriber additions

New Delhi, Jan 5 | Updated: Jan 6 2006, 05:53am hrs
GSM-based cellular operators added a record 32 lakh subscribers in December, 2005, highest since the beginning of the service, taking the total GSM user base to 5.85 crore, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said on Thursday.

The subscriber additions in December 05 are 225% of that recorded in December 04 (1.42 million). The additions are 38% higher than that recorded in November, 2005 when it stood at 23 lakh subscribers.

Bharti Televentures continues to lead with an addition of 9.2 lakh new users, taking its total subscriber base to 1.63 crore and capturing a market share of 27.91%.

Bharti Televentures is followed by BSNL, which added the maximum number of subscribers (10 lakh) taking its user base to 1.43 crore, while Hutch stood third at 1.14 crore users with the addition of 7.3 lakh subscribers.

BSNL has a market share of 24.4% followed by Hutch ( 19.5%). Idea also added 2.6 lakh users taking its subscriber base to 64 lakh and market share to 11%.

Metro subscribers grew by 3.71% over November 05. Although Delhi and Mumbai continue to dominate in absolute terms, the rate of growth recorded was highest for Chennai (4.26%) followed by Kolkata (3.69%) and Mumbai (3.29%) With this growth, the all-India GSM subscriber base has reached 58.51 million in December 05, up from 55.31 million in November 2005.

Among all circles, category C circles continued to witness the highest rate of growth at 10.07%, which is much higher as compared to metros and A and B circles. Within the category C circles, the highest addition was recorded in North East (12.99%), followed by Assam ( 10.98%) and Orissa (10.83%). Category C was followed by B circles, which recorded a healthy growth of over 6% over the previous month. Highest additions were recorded in West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar (12.06%) followed by Kerala (10.11%) and Rajasthan (9.35%).

Category A circles witnessed a growth of 5.8%. Among the Category A circles, Gujarat recorded highest growth of 9.5% over the previous month, followed by Andhra Pradesh (5.89%) and Karnataka (5.75%). TV Ramachandran, director general COAI said: Growth in subscriber numbers was the result of a concerted effort by the GSM industry to reach governments target of 200 million mobile subscribers by 2007. The addition of 32 lakh users is also double the average subscriber growth recorded in the previous 11 months of the calendar year 2005. The average user addition between January-November was 16 lakh users.