GSM subscriber base grew strongly in September 2013 led by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea

The GSM industry added 4.4mn subscribers (net) during September 2013 led by the incumbent operators— Airtel, Idea and Vodafone (3.6mn combined). All private operators added subscribers, with Idea leading the way with net additions of 1.2mn.

The incumbents represented 81% of the additions, significantly higher than their GSM market share, which reflects the continued consolidation in the industry. We note that since January 2012, the top three players (Bharti, Vodafone India and Idea) have been able to increase their combined subscriber market share (GSM + CDMA) by 589bps.

Net Subscriber Addition in Sept-2013
Idea (+1.21mn, +1.0% m/m)
Vodafone India (+1.21mn, +0.8% m/m)
Airtel (+1.16mn, +0.6% m/m)
Aircel (+0.64mn, +1.0% m/m)
Videocon (+0.31mn, +10.7% m/m)
Uninor (+0.10mn, +0.3% m/m)

Airtel’s subscriber additions in September 2013 were broad based with net additions in 21 out of the 22 telecom circles in India. As of September 2013, Bharti had the leading GSM subscriber market share in 12 of the 22 telecom circles and a market share of more than 30% in 15 circles (vs. Idea at 6 circles with more than a 30% market share).

Vodafone India came back strongly in September 2013 with the highest subscriber additions at 1.21mn. The additions were broad based with 0.2mn subscribers added in the 3 Metro circles and another 0.45mn in “A” circles.