Indian Mobile Service providers seem to have a reason to worry as the addition rate of customers is very slow. In the last month, the mobile companies managed to add 3.11 Million. Though this number may appear huge, in the larger scheme of things, the companies added just 0.47% of the existing subscriber base. The official statement from Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) read,
“The GSM subscriber base increased by 3.11 million in May 2013, a 0.47 per cent increase from previous month. Total number of GSM subscriber as of May 2013 stood at 667.56 Million,”
Majority of the market is controlled by Airtel, Vodafone & Idea Cellular. In terms of market share, the trio controls more than 70% among them.
The report put forth some interesting market shift dynamics:
Idea & Vodafone continue to be the favorites: Pertaining to our observation regarding the duo earlier, both the companies seem to be enjoying customer loyalty. While Vodafone led the growth with 9 Lakh new additions, Idea was a close second with 8.7 Lakh new customers.
Aircel on a rapid growth path: Though Aircel managed to add just 2.8 Lakh new customers, its growth rate has almost tripled as the count was just 1 Lakh in April. This is way better than companies like Uninor and Videocon who managed to add just about 1.5 Lakh each.
State run Mobile Cos. aren’t doing well: It appears state run MTNL & BSNL are ailing. While BSNL managed to hold onto its subscriber base with no new additions, MTNL actually lost 90 Thousand customers.
Indian mobile segment, who had been enjoying unprecedented growth last year, has been witnessing alarming attrition lately. Though it is partially their fault too, the correction can be attributed to the fact that revenue now matters more than subscribers. We can confidently speculate that though the numbers indicate the segment may be saturating, the companies apparently haven’t entered enthusiastically within the rural regions where there is still a lot of potential.
Once the companies acknowledge this fact, their subscriber addition numbers should pick up. What do you think?
Image Courtesy | bharatlines