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1.66 million new cell customers in July

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1.66 million new cell customers in July

India’s mobile subscriber base increased by 1.66 million customers in July 2004 to touch the 39-million mark. Reliance Infocomm continued to be the largest mobile player, with 8.45 million subscribers. The company, which has a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)-based network, added 2.66 lakh new users in July.

As per the latest numbers released by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Friday, the Global System for Mobile (GSM)-based operators added 1.38 million users, taking the accumulated GSM subscriber base to 30.5 million.

Among the GSM players, Bharti has a 26.15 per cent market share, with a subscriber base of 8 million, followed by State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) with a market share of 20.3 per cent and a subscriber base of 6.2 million.

BSNL's rollout has slowed down over the last few months owing to lack of capacity. The company is in the process of rolling out 12 million new cellular lines this year.

On the other hand, the CDMA operator's subscriber base went up to 8.3 million in July compared to 8.06 million in the previous month, riding largely on Reliance's market strength. The other CDMA player, Tata Telservices, added only 9,154 new users in July.

According to COAI, Hutch's market share at the end of July stood at 19.6 per cent at a subscriber base of 5.9 million, while that of Idea was at 13.7 per cent with a subscriber base of 4.2 million. Other players such as BPL and Spice notched a market share of 7.22 per cent and 4.41 per cent, respectively, while Aircel had a market share of 4.15 per cent.

Commenting on the market position, Mr T.V. Ramachandran, Director General of COAI, said, "Not only were the GSM additions (at 13.9 lakh) 35 per cent higher than in June 2004 (10.28 lakh), the new subscribers were more than 83 per cent of the total new cellular subscribers."


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