During the first seven months of the financial year ending March 2005 about 11 million mobile subscribers were added, taking the total mobile subscribers in the country to 44.51 million.
With this the number of mobile subscribers has crossed that in the fixed line category (43.96 million), according to a release issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday.
The overall tele-density was around 8.24% in October 2004. There was an addition of 0.16 million fixed line subscribers in October, taking the total to 43.96 million.
In terms of total subscribers (both mobile and fixed), around 1.7 million subscribers were added in October, against an addition of 2 million users in September. For the mobile segment, 1.53 million subscribers have been added during October this fiscal as compared to 1.84 million in September.
The mobile additions consist of 1.2 million global system for mobile communication (GSM) subscribers and 0.33 million code divisional multiple access (CDMA) subscribers.
India has recorded the highest annual mobile subscriber growth (over 100%) from the 2nd quarter of 2003 onwards, according to a survey done by an international research group.
The annual growth rate for the quarter ending March 2004 and June 2004 was 140% and 116% respectively, which was the highest among 50 countries covered in the survey (all major countries have been covered in the survey).
This unprecedented growth has been due to the fact that mobile tariffs in India are the lowest, according to the survey findings available with Trai.
After June 2004, there has been a further fall in the mobile tariffs.
The revenue per minute for mobile service was of the order of Rs 1.8 for the quarter ending June 2004 and has been reported to be the lowest along with China.
The average mobile spending in India is 0.8% of the GDP, while Nigeria recorded the highest mobile spending of 4.8% of GDP. The mobile spending in China is 2.5%, Malaysia 2.8%, South Africa 3.4%, Singapore 1.5% and Indonesia 1.4% of GDP.
In October, Bharti added 3.6 lakh new customers, taking its total subscriber base to about 90.63 lakh. BSNL added highest number of new users of over 4 lakh in October taking its market share at 22.84%. BSNL had added a whopping 6.55 lakh subscribers in September. BSNL’s total subscriber base in October stood at 79.41 lakh. Hutch was placed third with a subscriber base of 65.66 lakh and a market share of 18.88%.
While in the CDMA category, Reliance Infocomm added 2.86 lakh subscribers, Tatas lost more than 33,000 subscribers in October. In September too Tatas had lost 8000 subscribers.