GSM telcos add 2 mn subscribers in Aug

By Kiran Rathee , Business Standard, New Delhi | In Digital | September 23, 2016
The additions come as a relief to incumbent operators.

GSM mobile operators added around two million subscribers in August, taking their overall base to 781.14 million, indicating an upswing in the sector, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said on Thursday.

The additions come as a relief to incumbent operators, which are trying to retain users amid competition from Reliance Jio, which launched commercial services on September 5. However, COAI did not report the numbers of BSNL, Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices.

"The telecom industry saw addition of 2.09 mn subscribers across different networks in August," COAI said. The number for July stood at 779.05 mn.

Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI, said the increase indicated the continued upward trend for the sector, as it continued to add more consumers every month.

"With more investments and increased coverage, this will continue to swell with each passing month."

Among operators, Airtel continues to lead, adding 700,000 subscribers to its network, taking its total to around 257 mn. Vodafone added 480,000, taking its base to about 200 mn and Idea Cellular with 410,000 additions has a base of 177 mn. Aircel added 370,000 subscribers, whereas Telenor added 110,000 in the month.