GSM user base grows by 11 m in May

GSM-Cellular firms added 11.2 million new users in May, 2.6% more than April, to take the total subscriber base to 444.2 million, according to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Although new subscriber additions was minuscule, it showed there is still some steam left in the telecom sector. The GSM subscriber additions in the month of April had declined 20% over March, with most telcos reporting fewer customer additions.
Bharti Airtel, the country’s leading mobile service provider added three million new users in May, same as April and March, while Vodafone Essar’s user additions declined to 2.5 million in May compared with 2.8 million in April.
Aircel and Idea Cellular roped in 1.6 million and 1.4 million new users respectively in May, the same number of additions as April. Aircel’s user base now stands at 40 million while Idea Cellular’s user base reached 66.7 million. State-owned telco — BSNL’s user additions in May declined to 1 million from 1.2 million in April. BSNL now has a user base of 65.7 million.Another state-operated telco with operations in Mumbai and Delhi - MTNL recorded a positive growth. MTNL added over 40,000 users in May, up 21% over April. MTNL’s user base now stands at 4.8 million. New players Etisalat DB added over 5,000 new users while STel added about 0.1 million new users in May.
Meanwhile, another new player in the Indian GSM space — Uninor saw a decline in user base to 5.01 million from 5.02 million in April.

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