Market leader Bharti set a new market record for monthly net additions for an individual operator with a figure of 2.70m – just 268 above the previous record, which it set in August. No fewer than three other operators also set new personal bests in September, with third-placed Vodafone adding 1.86m, seventh-placed Aircel adding 0.75m and tenth-placed BPL 0.15m. Meanwhile, IDEA also performed well with a monthly gain of 1.10m, its second highest ever monthly figure and its seventh successive 1m + month.
Top Five Figures for Monthly Net Additions
This took its lead over sixth-placed Tata to more than 1m, with 30.38m to its rival’s 29.34m. Tata was no slouch, however, recording 0.96m monthly net additions, its third highest ever monthly figure behind August and July 2008. Bharti finished September with 77.48m customers, more than 20m more than its nearest rival Reliance, which finished with 56.01m. Reliance has lived up to its name, consistently recording more than 1.5m net additions in each month since September 2007. Its latest figure of 1.72m was the fourth successive month over 1.7m, following five successive months over 1.6m.
However, Vodafone’s strong performance took it to within 1.4m of Reliance’s total with an end-September figure of 54.61m; this is the smallest deficit recorded since the end of 2007. BSNL remains in fourth place with 39.33m, although its market share continues to fall with another 0.2pp monthly loss in September taking its figure to 12.7%, down 2.4pp year on year. The only other operator to see an annual change of more than 1.0pp in its market share was Bharti, which was up 1.3pp to 24.9%.
GSM dominates the Indian market with 75.2% of the total. It recorded a monthly gain of 7.65m in September, its second best ever figure, while CDMA was up 2.34m, its third highest gain.