India adds 7.32 mln GSM mobile users in Sept-industry
Reuters, Mumbai, October 11, 2008: India added 7.32 million mobile users in September in its GSM-based telecom networks, its highest ever, an industry body said on Saturday.

The total subscriber base at the end of September stood at 233.3 million, as against 225.98 million in August, data from the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) showed.

The latest data denoted a 3.24 percent rise on month.

The numbers do not include September additions by No 2 operator Reliance Communications (RLCM.BO: Quote, Profile, Research). Reliance, which predominantly uses CDMA technology but has some GSM customers, had 54.3 million total wireless users at end-August.

The company releases its monthly additions separately.

"It is estimated that the month's GSM additions would be about 7.7 million when all figures come in," T. V. Ramachandran, director general of COAI said, referring to the GSM additions by Reliance.

Top operator Bharti Airtel (BRTI.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) added 2.70 million new users in September taking its total base to 77.5 million in, the statement said.

Vodafone Plc-(VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) controlled Vodafone Essar, added 1.87 million users to take its base to 54.6 million users.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, which is gearing up for a $10 billion public offer, added 676,965 new users to have a base of 39.2 million users at end-September.

India is the world's fastest growing market for mobile phone services and the second largest market for such services after China.

Other than the GSM-based telecom users, it also has a Substantial user-base in the CDMA-based network. (Reporting by Ruchira Singh and Devidutta Tripathy, editing by Mike Peacock)