In a recently concluded study by Nielsen, delving into the usage and popularity of Dual-SIM handsets and multiple-SIM card users in India, it was revealed that Nokia rules the Dual-SIM handset segment with a market share of 30 percent, while Samsung comes in second with a market share of 16 percent. In a subsequent report, detailing the findings of the study, it has been stated that 61 percent of the handsets used by multi-SIM owners are Dual-SIM and that the popularity of Dual-SIM handsets, itself is set to rise “as among 14 percent of Multi-SIM card users who plan to purchase a new handset, 75 percent intend to choose a dual SIM handset.

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Nokia leads the pack..

The Nielsen study, through its course found that a whopping 71 million subscribers across the nation used multiple SIM cards. It added that 13 percent of unique active mobile subscribers use multiple SIM cards. On giving a closer look to the demographics, leading to such adoption figures for multiple SIM cards, the report found that the trend of using multiple SIM cards is prominent among the younger lot – largely students, newly employed and working professionals. Explaining the trend, the report adds that the desire for “optimizing tariffs and taking advantage of better and cheaper deals offered by operators.

Consistency in phone bills, helping keeping a tab on costs were revealed to be the chief reasons driving users to go in for multiple SIM cards. Speaking on maintaining consistency in phone bills, the report elaborated, “A key observation is that for most Multi-SIM card users, there hasn’t been a significant increase in their monthly mobile expense despite maintaining two separate connections. For every 2 out of 5 multi-SIM users, expenses have remained consistent. Only 12 percent users have reported a substantial rise in costs.” It added, “A typical user has two SIM cards, but from different operators. What is interesting here is that users prefer to keep both SIM cards as prepaid to have a better control on costs as well as to capitalize on monthly deals offered by operators,” elaborating on the factor that users saw keeping multiple SIM cards as a way to keep a tab on their costs. 

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Operator share in the Multi-SIM user segment

The Nielsen report further shed light on the fact that smaller operators have managed to gain a “relatively higher share among Multi-SIM card users.” 

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