In total, 15.1 million wireless lines were added in the month of July, taking the total of wireless connections to 456.74 million and total overall communication connections to 494.07 million. On the back of this growth, teledensity increased to 42.27 percent, that's up from 34.5 percent in January. (See India Adds 15M Mobile Subs in January.)
India broke through the 15 million barrier for the first time in January 2009 and again in March. The numbers dipped through April and May before rising steadily to reach this month's high.
The biggest winner in August was Tata Teleservices Ltd. , adding 3,418,138 subscribers across its CDMA and Tata DoCoMo GSM services. This accounted for 22.5 percent of the new lines and gave Tata Teleservices the largest share of the month's connections, ahead of Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), Vodafone India , and Reliance Communications Ltd. (See table below.)
|Overall Ranking||Operator||Subscribers added in August '09||Total subscribers as of end August '09||Market Share as of end August '09*||Percentage of monthly additions*|
|9||Spice Telecom (now part of Idea Cellular but still reporting connections separately)||63,436||4,235,023||0.92%||0.42%|
|10||Loop Telecom (including BPL in Mumbai, now rebranded Loop)||66,929||2,417,446||0.52%||0.44%|
*Figures have been rounded to nearest decimal place and therefore do not add up to exactly 100%
The August figures add to the 2.247 million subs Tata Teleservices secured in July.
The driving force behind this growth appears to be the new GSM services, which launched in June and are now available in eight of India's 22 telecom circles. The plan is to take the GSM services nationwide.
The GSM operation was rebranded as Tata DoCoMo at the beginning of August, when it launched in Mumbai and Maharashtra, introduced per-second billing, and unveiled a competitive introductory lifetime tariff offer. (See Tata GSM Services Go Live.)
Mumbai and Maharashtra accounted for 655,601 of Tata's total additions, and, although the operator does not give a breakdown of figures for each technology, the effect of the GSM launch is clear. Across the eight GSM circles, Tata Teleservices added 3,000,489 new customers, accounting for the vast majority of its new lines in August.
Outside the momentous wireless growth, India's wireline market continues to shrink, falling by 40,000 to 37.33 million, while broadband connections reached 6.98 million, representing a steady if uninspiring monthly growth rate of 2.65 percent.
— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading