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Indian Mobile Sub Base Crosses 650M

India's mobile subscriber growth continued unabated in July with the addition of 16.91 million subscribers, according to the recently released data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) .

With this, the total number of mobile users reaches 652.42 million, up from 635.51 million in June 2010. (See India Adds 18M Subs in June.)

Teledensity has increased from 49.5 percent at the beginning of this year to 58.7 percent by the end of July. (See A Guide to India's Telecom Market.)

This growth in subscribers is likely to continue for some time, with the majority of new additions coming from the rural segment.

Most of the new subscribers continue to opt for incumbents in spite of the best efforts of the new players. Of the new operators, Uninor and Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. added about 850,000 and 830,000 subscribers, respectively. (See Uninor Unveils 'Dynamic Pricing’.)

Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) continued to add the greatest number of subscribers -- 2.6 million in July. At 139.2 million, Bharti has the largest subscriber base in India. (See Bhart Airtel Reports Q1.)

Reliance Communications Ltd. is a close second with the addition of 2.5 million subscribers in July, for a total of 113.3 million. Vodafone India continued to maintain third place, adding 2.4 million subscribers in July to take its user base to 111.4 million. Vodafone is followed by Tata Teleservices Ltd. , which added 2.3 million subscribers in July. (See Reliance Reports Q1, Announces Deals.)

The total number of telephone subscribers, both mobile and landline, reached 688.38 million by the end of July, up from 671.69 million in June. (See India's Mobile Market Hits 617M.)

On the other hand, broadband continues to grow at a snail's pace, with the subscriber base increasing by just 3.39 percent in July, to 9.77 million from 9.45 million the previous month. (See Top Indian Operators Set Out Broadband Agenda.)

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

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