Buoyed by the entry of the fourth cellular operators, the cellular subscriber base in the country moved up another 350,000 users in July, taking the number of mobile phone users to 7.69 million. Of the new additions, more than 100,000 have been made by the new operators including, Essar Hutchison, Bharti and Bharat Sanchar Nigam.
According to telecommunication analysts, existing operators might have been affected by the launch of the new operations, which entered the market with freebies such as free incoming calls and reduced roaming charges.
While Essar Hutchison added close to 40,000 users in its new licence areas of Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Bharti got more than 55,000 users in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (west) and Madhya Pradesh.
The metro circles continued to maintain their grip on the cellular market with more than 3.1 million mobile users, up from 2.9 million in June. Delhi continued its lead with 1.3 million users, followed by Mumbai at 1.15 million.
The Circle-A states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had a user base of 2.4 million in June compared to 2.3 million in May.
Net additions in the Circle-B states of Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (west and east), Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal stood at just over 100,000, taking the user base to 1.85 million.
The Circle-C states, comprising Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and the Northeast, continued their sluggish growth from 250,000 to 260,000 mobile users.