Mumbai: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the country's top telecom PSU, has been pushed to No 3 slot in the global systems for mobile communications (GSM) subscriber base with Vodafone Essar taking the second spot behind top telco Bharti Airtel.
While BSNL added only 1.55 million subscribers from the end of March to the end of July 2007, market leader Bharti has grown by 7.6 million and Vodafone Essar (earlier Hutch) by 6 million, according to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
Idea Cellular and Aircel have added 2.99 million and 1.65 million users, respectively.
Bharti's GSM market share has grown to 31.58 per cent in July-end from 30.59 per cent in March-end.
Vodafone has grown to 22.88 per cent from the 21.78 per cent earlier; BSNL to 22.59 per cent from 20.44 per cent; Idea to 12 per cent from 11.54 per cent; Aircel to 5.05 per cent from 4.54 per cent; and Spice to 2.32 per cent from 2.25 per cent.
The market share of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and BPL Mumbai have dropped from 2.26 per cent to 1.88 per cent and 0.88 per cent to 0.77 per cent, respectively.
While BSNL operates in 21 out of the 23 circles in the country, Bharti operates in all 23 circles and Vodafone in 16. Idea is present only in 11 and Aircel in nine.
BSNL was unable to add capacity for the past few months as its mega GSM tender got delayed.
BSNL, however, recorded the second-highest month-on-month growth rate, after Aircel, in March, at 7.8 per cent. But, thereafter, the PSU slipped to the seventh position and has been there ever since.
There are 141.74 million GSM subscribers in the country as of July end, up from 121.43 million at end-March.