Indian Mobile Phone Industry - Service Providers, Handsets and Statistics

In last decade Indian mobile phone industry has witnessed a dramatic growth. Cheap mobile handsets, affordable airtime rates, low initial cost and affordable monthly rentals made it easy for anybody to go mobile. As per latest statistics India has around 140 million mobile subscribers.

Mobile Phone Technologies

Mobile phone operators are using mainly two basic technologies in India, GSM and CDMA. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications and it is the most widely used mobile technology in the world with 2 billion subscribers in 212 countries. Code division multiple access or CDMA is another mobile technology used in India.

Cellular Network in Metro Cities
Delhi: Four GSM mobile phone service providers in Delhi, Airtel, Hutch, MTNL and IDEA. Aitel is the leader with 2.6 million connections followed by Hutch with 2.1 million mobile users. In the CDMA segment only two players Reliance and Tata Indicom in which Reliance is ahead with 19 lakh connections.

Mumbai: In Mumbai Hutch, Airtel and MTNL are the main players in GSM. After the acquisition of BPL mobile Hutch become the major player in Mumbai with 3.4 million subscribers followed by MTNL with 1.2 million users. Reliance and Tata Indicom are the CDMA providers in Mumbai and Reliance leads this segment with 2 million connections.

Chennai: Aircel, Airtel, Hutch and BSNL are providing GSM service in Chennai. Aircel is on top with 9.7 lakh connections followed by Airtel with 8.7 lakh subscribers. In Chennai also Reliance Communications leads the CDMA segment with 6.2 lakh subscribers followed by Tata Indicom with 2.8 lakhs.

Kolkata: Four GSM operators in Kolkata, Airtel, Hutch, BSNL and Reliable Internet and Hutch is leading with 1.1 million subscribers followed by Airtel with 8 lakh subscribers. Reliance leads the CDMA segment with 1 million subscribers and followed by Tata with 7 lakh users.

Circle A: Five states are in A circle Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andra Pradesh, Kanrataka and Tamil Nadu. Main players in this circle are Airtel, Hutch, Aircel, Spice, BSNL and IDEA with a total subscriber GSM base of 36 million.

Circle B: Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Utar Pradesh (West and East), Rajasthn, Madya Pradesh, West Bengal including Andaman and Nicobar make up the B circle. Airtel, Hutch, Idea, Ideal, BSNL, Aircel and Dishnet are the main players with a total GSM customer base of 35 million.

Circle C: Five sections in Circle C, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, NE and Jammu & Kashmir. Airtel, Reliance, Escorts, BSNL and Hutch are the main providers with a total GSM base of 10 million users.

India has around 1 billion GSM users as per Cellular Operators Association of India's (COAI) latest statistics and 39 million CDMA users as per Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India's (AUSPI) statistics. Totally India has around 1.4 billion mobile phone subscribers at the end of 2006.

Cellular Network Providers

Bharati Airtel is the leader with 30 million subscribers followed by Reliance with 28 million users. Hutch, BSNL, Tata Indicom, Idea, Aircel, MTNL and Spice are the other players. GSM segments leads by Airtel and CDMA by Reliance communications.

Mobile Handsets

In India mobile handset market is flooded with local and branded handsets from different companies. Major players are Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola.

Mobile Handset Features

Handset Manufacturers are coming up with extra features to attract users like FM radio, speaker phone, mp3 player, high quality camera with flash, GPRS, mms, java, games, WAP, calculator, organizers, Indian ring tones, pen drive, blue tooth etc

Mobile Operator Services and Facilities

Cellular operators also providing many exciting features to increase their customer base like hello tunes, ring tones, mms, GPRS, call forwarding, call waiting, voice mail, missed all information, call conferencing, contests, free offers, recharge voucher discounts, life time validity, double voucher validity, favorite numbers, night talk discounts etc.