The ongoing Tariff war in the Indian Wireless industry has led to Wireless operators adding 16.6m new connections in Oct-09 vs. 14.8m in Sep, the highest ever in the History of Indian Cellular Services. The total mobile subscriber base now stands at a whopping 483 mn.

Tata Tele Services Ltd [Indicom / DoCoMo] TTSL reported 3.9m subs in Oct. vs. 4.0m in Sep. Excluding 0.5m netadds from two new GSM circles (Haryana, Kolkata), TTSL’s net-adds actually declined by 15% mom, indicating that price retaliation by rivals is showing results.

Review of Price Matching in Tariff War:
TTSL net-adds in AP/MP circles dipped by >20% mom; Vodafone was first to launch per second billing in MP, which also explains the 4x mom jump in its net-adds in the circle. Similarly, the 5x increase in Idea Cellular’s net-adds in AP is likely due to its 50p plan.

Simple Reliance Fails to Excite Customers:
Reliance Communications net-adds rose marginally to 2.1m from 2.0m in Sep, indicating no real gains from tariff cuts, as rivals were quick to react to 50p plan.

Bharti Airtel Bows Down and Starts Dropping Tariff:
Bharti Airtel recorded slower growth compared to its GSM peers – Idea, Vodafone and Aircel. Thus, as soon as the numbers were available, Airtel decided to drop Roaming charges yesterday.