India’s mobile tele-density to reach 100% by March 2013


India’s wireless telecom market growth momentum is expected to continue… 
  • Wireless telecom market in India is experiencing the phase of high growth for past few years. Overall mobile subscribers in India have increased from 165.11 million in March 2007 to 771.18 million January 2011. As a result, mobile tele-density jumped from 14.61% to 64.74%.
  • The second largest mobile telecommunication services market in the world behind China, Indian wireless telecom sector is benefiting from lowest call rates, large market base due to bigger population, considerably sizable untapped market and robust economic growth of the country.
  • Moreover, presence of most of the large international telecom players in the market results in rapid technological adoption, better service standards, innovative product offerings and competitive pricing.  
Launch of 3G services, rising penetration levels in rural market fuels growth… 
  • Year 2010 marked introduction of high-speed 3G services in India. Most of leading telecom providers are aggressively reaching prospective customers with these new service offerings. Moreover, continuous launches of smart phones coupled with decline in prices of 3G enabled handsets could help 3G services to grow at higher rates in coming years.
  • For initial period at least, 3G services could have restricted market in Metros and category “A” circles.
  • Till now, it was urban areas which were driving the growth for mobile services market in India. However, driven by rising income levels of rural consumer, increase in wireless telecom services reach in these rural areas and affordability of mobile services would result in strong growth of rural wireless telecom market in coming years.
India’s mobile tele-density to reach 100% by 2013...

  • Combined effect of all the above factors would result in healthy growth of India’s mobile subscriber base in medium term. It is expected that total number of mobile subscribers in India would increase from 165 million in March 2007 to 1,239 million by March 2013 growing at a CAGR of 40%.
  • This would translate into mobile tele-density of 101% estimating India’s total population at 1,226 million by March 2013.
  • Interestingly, urban tele-density would be crossing 200% to reach approximately 760 million while rural mobile subscriber base is expected to cross about 500 million with 60% wireless tele-density.
  • Even, the share of rural mobile subscriber base of total market expected to increase from 34% in January 2011 to 40% in March 2013 indicating rising importance of rural market. 
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Indian mobile (wireless telecom) subscriber base to cross 1 billion by March 2012

  • Indian wireless telecom market is witnessing unprecedented growth mainly driven by cheaper call rates, availability of low cost afforable mobile handsets and increasing purchasing power of Indian consumer led by robust economic growth.
  • Since, December 2009, India’s mobile market is adding on an average 19 million new customers every month. The trend is likely to continue in coming years as well mainly due to expansion of mobile telephony in rural market and rising trend of having more than one mobile connection among urban subscribers. 
  • Moreover, presence of 14 players in highly competitive telecom market is fueling volume growth as each player is desperately trying to expand its market presence in order to achieve sustainable scale.
  • Expansion of recently launched 3G services would also help the market to grow. However, majority of 3G additions are expected to come as upgrade of 2G connection with concentration in urban areas.
  • Continuing recent trend, rural markets would continue to outperform urban areas in coming years. Under penetration of rural markets, improving quality of life in rural areas and rising awareness of rural customer coupled with initiatives from the Indian government to increase penetration of communication services in rural areas are key drivers for the market.
  • As a result, India’s wireless subscriber base would cross 1 billion by March 2012 from 771 million in January 2011. This would translate into 83% of overall wireless tele-density.
  • Out of 1 billion mobile subscribers, urban market would constitute approximately 630 million customers with 175% wireless tele-density while rural market would expand to about 370 million subscribers with 45% wireless tele-density. 




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Maharashtra remains the top wireless telecom market in India – January 2011

  • According to figures released by TRAI, total wireless subscriber base in India is 771.18 million. While proportion active subscriber base stood at 71.14%. As a result, total active wireless subscribers in India were 548.62 million in January 2011. 
  • As per total subscriber base, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai) remains the largest wireless telecom circle in India followed by U.P. (East), Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai), Andhra Pradesh and Bihar top form top five 
  • However, this figure is quite misleading as proportion of active subscriber base in Tamil Nadu is poor 66.2% compared with National average of 71.14%. While Maharashtra with active subscriber base proportion of 77.58% emerge as the top wireless telecom market. Even Andhra Pradesh improves its rank to third displacing U.P. (East). 
  • Notably, figures of Mumbai are not included in Maharashtra subscriber base. Combined figure of Maharashtra and Mumbai is higher by at least 20 million compared with any other circle in India. 
  • Moreover, Maharashtra posted healthy wireless subscriber growth rate of 3.22% in January 2011 compared with December 2010 figures which is higher than overall Indian market growth rate of 2.52%. As a result, one can expect that going forward Maharashtra could continue to dominate India’s mobile telephony market while other states have to do lot of catching work. 

India wireless telephony (January 2011) - Growth continues

Rural market growing faster than urban
  • Indian wireless telephony continues to experience robust growth during the month of January 2011. Overall wireless subscriber base touched 771.18 million, 2.52% rise over December 2010.
  • Although urban subscriber base share is 66.42% compared with rural share of 33.58%; the rate of growth in rural market is significantly higher. During the month of January 2011, rural wireless subscriber base grew by 3.20% compared with 2.19% growth in urban. Going forward, rural market is expected to grow at faster rate compared with urban market.  
  • Rural wireless tele-density of 31.05% compared with urban figure of 143.36% indicates immense growth potential in rural market, while urban market is steadily becoming saturated.  

Active subscriber base figures tells true story 
  • As per total subscribers base figures, Bharti leads with 20.20% market share closely followed by Reliance and Vodafone. 
  • However, in terms of active subscribers, Bharti leads the competition by significant margin with 26.30% market share as 92.83% of its total subscriber base is active
  • The other notable player on this parameter is Idea Cellular with 90.34% active subscribers. However, Tata and BSNL suffer due to significantly higher proportion of inactive subscribers on their networks. 
  • Overall, 71.14% of the total wireless subscribers in India are active. As a result, actual wireless tele-density of the country is 46% compared with reported figure of 64.74%.This translated into considerable growth opportunity for the future.
As a result we can expect Indian telecom saga is likely to continue in near future.....