According to a report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the nation’s mobile subscriber base has jumped to over 840 million* at the end of May. That’s more than 13 million subscribers added since the previous month, representing a 1.61% growth rate. This appears to correlate with recent numbers from Voice & Data that showed an average of 10 million new handsets purchased per month for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
While the number of urban subscribers still far outweigh those in developing rural areas (554 million to 285 million, respectively), the latter is showing over two percent monthly growth.
As for which companies performed well for the month, Reliance Communications saw the biggest increase in subscriptions with 2.5 million added. Bharti Airtel, which leads the market with over 167 mobile subscribers alone, added 2.45 million, as did Vodafone Essar. See a more complete list of leaders in the chart below.
It’s interesting to compare the user bases of the world’s two ‘mobile superpowers’ India and China. Even with this latest report, India still remains second to China, which saw its own mobile subscribers surpass the 900 million mark in May.
Note: TRAI disclaims that “out of the total 840.28 Million subscribers, 588.13 Million subscribers were active subscribers on the date of Peak VLR (visitor location register) for the month of May 2011.” This figure would exclude users who are switched off or out of covered areas at that time.