910 Mil Mobile, 65 Mil Broadband Subscribers In India: Bharti Fastest Growing Telco !

The TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) monthly report card for May 2014 is out; Out of the 6.9 billion mobile subscribers globally, 13.6% subscribers are in India. The total subscribers, including wireless and wire-line, in India reached 938.34 million in May 2014, with the monthly addition of 2.54 million subscribers. The growth in the subscriber base is primarily driven by wireless subscriptions (Mobile), where Bharti Airtel has captured almost one-fourth of the of the total telecom subscriber base.

TRAI- Overview of stats


  • The overall teledensity hasn’t changed much since May 2013.
  • The minimum broadband speed has been raised to 512 kbps from 256 kbps earlier.
  • Driven by wireless subscriptions, the number of broadband subscribers grew to 65.33 million.
  • The leading service providers in May 2014 were Bharti, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance and BSNL.
  • The region UP (East) witnessed the maximum growth in wireless subscriptions.
  • By the end of May 2014, 121.47 million subscribers have submitted their request to port their number.
  • BSNL has yet again captured more than two-third of the wireline service provider market.

 Wireline subscriptions Decline Monthly and Annually

The total wireline subscriptions in the month of May 2014 were found to be just 28.18 million, registering a monthly decline of 0.62% and a yearly decline of 5.5%. The number of total mobile subscriptions increased 4.25% from May 2013, and this growth is primarily pegged to growth of increasing mobile usage. However, the growth of wireless subscribers was driven mainly by urban regions where the wireless teledensity reached 139.72 against the total teledensity of 75.51. Teledensity is the count of telephone, including mobile, connections for every hundred individuals. This roughly translates to 139.72 mobile connections for every 100 people.

TRAI- urban rural subscribers

Though the number of wireless subscribers are more in urban India, the growth is visible in rural India. In the course of May 2014, 2.64 new mobile subscriptions were recorded in rural India against the 0.07 million in urban India. The overall wireless subscriptions grew 8% since May 2013.

Delhi has the Maximum Teledensity

Till May 2014, for every 100 people in Delhi, the number of phone subscriptions reached at 227.59. This tells that almost every person in Delhi has more than two SIM cards on an average. Interestingly, despite of so much of claimed infrastructure development Bihar has the lowest teledensity of 46.76. West Bengal, North East regions, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have nearly the same teledensity as the country has overall. The pattern of people owing a telephone or mobile phone hasn’t gone through a significant shift since May 2013.

TRAI- teledensity

Private Operators Hold Almost 90% of the Market

The two telecom PSUs (Public Sector Units) – BSNL and MTNL – combined hold only 10.44% of total number of telecom subscribers. The market hasn’t gone through a major change since May 2013 except that ranking of Reliance and Idea has swapped. Idea now holds the third spot in the market with having 15.13% of subscribers. The plan benefits, network coverage and lucrative first recharge offers have helped these companies grow faster than others.

TRAI- service provider market share

Interestingly, the public sector operator BSNL recorded negative growth in May 2014. Almost 1.5 million people left BSNL and almost 2 million left Reliance in favor of mobile number portability or had to forgo their SIMs. In the month of May alone, 2.23 requests for mobile number portability were recorded.

TRAI- service provider net addition

Bharti is the Leading Service Provider in India

The lion’s share of Bharti is more than the combined share of bottom eight companies, including a few big wigs like Aircel, Tata and MTNL. In addition to that, Bharti Airtel is the only company offering 4G services in India. Therefore unsurprisingly, 1.6 million new users joined Bharti’s network during May 2014. Moreover, Bharti is the only company to feature in the list of top-3 telecom providers and wireline service provides.

TRAI- wireline subscriber market

The Broadband Market Records a Growth of 337%

The number of broadband subscriptions reached 65.33 million by the end of May 2014 from 15.13 million in May 2013, registering a year-over-year growth of 337%. The good news for Indian broadband users is that the minimum download speed has been increased to 512 kbps from 256 kbps. The maximum usage of broadband services is done through mobile phones and dongles.

TRAI- broadband market

BSNL, Bharti, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance emerged as the top broadband service providers in India. Together, they capture 84.35% of market share with BSNL in the lead.

Active Wireless Subscriptions Account For 86.86% of Total Wireless Subscribers

When taken during the day of peak VLR in May 2014, the number of active wireless subscribers reached at 790.52 million. Visitor Location Register (VLR) is a temporary database of the subscribers who have roamed in the particular area, which it serves. Though Bharti is the leading service provider company in India, Idea had the maximum number of active subscriptions with 101.48% market share. This figure can be more than 100 due to the in-roamers present in that particular region at that time.


The mobile subscription and internet usage is on the rise in India. Globally, India is ranked as the second position by the number of mobile subscriptions. With the TRAI regulation to increase the minimum download speed to 512 kbps, the penetration of mobile devices is expected to increase sizeable.

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