As per figures presented by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), an industry association of GSM mobile service providers in the country, GSM operators including Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone lost more than 9 million subscribers in November. With this, the total user base has dropped to 663.78 million. At the end of October, the total subscriber base stood at 672.80 million users. The COAI further shared that the top three operators, i.e. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, lost more than 6.74 million users in November. The three operators account for 67 percent of the GSM market. In fact, not even one operator added a new subscriber during November 2012. 


GSM subscriber base dips (Image credit: Getty Images)

Bharti Airtel reportedly lost 2.80 million users, thereby seeing its subscriber base at 183.61 million. The operator accounts for 27.66 percent of the market share. Vodafone and Idea Cellular lost 2.38 million users and 1.56 million users respectively. With the drop, Vodafone's subscriber base reached 150.76 million, while that of Idea Cellular touched 114.14 million at the end of November 2012. 

Another operator, Aircel, lost 1.46 million users in November and saw its user base reach 65.32 million at the end of last month. Uninor lost 4,37,915 users, while Videocon lost 3,79,787 subscribers at the end of November 2012. As per figures by the COAI, state-run operator BSNL did not add a single subscriber in November and accounted for a 14.64 percent share in the GSM market with 97.17 million subscribers. MTNL lost 741 users, and saw its user base reach 5.12 million at the end of November 2012. 

COAI revealed in its figures for August 2012 for all of India that the total GSM subscriber base in the country stood at 671.95 million. In its report, the COAI further noted that this total subscriber base figure had been arrived at as GSM operators in the country, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular put together lost more than 7.10 million subscribers. Most GSM subscribers, i.e., 0.79 million were added in the review period by Aircel. Chennai saw most GSM subscriptions, i.e., 1,07,131 being added in the review period.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, put together accounted for roughly 68 percent of the GSM market and in the review period, they lost over 5.10 million users. Bharti Airtel has a 27.82 percent market share, and in the review period, lost 1.90 million users making its subscriber base fall to 186.9 million. 

Going further, the report found that Idea Cellular and Vodafone, two other popular players in the market, lost 1.64 million users and 1.55 million users, respectively. With this, Idea Cellular's subscriber base stood at 115.97 million, while that of Vodafone was at 153.35 million at the end of August 2012. 

As per the figures, Aircel and Loop Mobile emerged as the only operators to have witnessed growth in the review period. While Aircel added 793,717 new users, Loop Mobile added 79,842 new subscribers in August 2012. Uninor, on the other hand, saw the sharpest decline of 2.38 million users and its subscriber base was 42.11 million at the end of August 2012.

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