GSM operators (excluding RCL) added 5.8 mn subs in July 2007, an increase from 5.4 mn in June 2007 (5.9 mn including RCL) led by strong subscriber additions by Bharti and Vodafone-Essar. Bharti and Vodafone-Essar together contributed to 65% of July 2007 GSM net adds.

BSNL – The Loser:
BSNL improved on its June 2007 performance adding 556,000 subs (as against 429,000 in May 2007) but continues to struggle with capacity constraints. In addition, the falling pricing of handsets, along with attractive life time validity plans, is also fuelling the current momentum.

Bharti Airtel Limited – The Star Performer:
Bharti had another record month adding 2.06 mn subs in July 2007, higher than 1.96 mn in June 2007. Bharti’s share of overall GSM subscriber base increased to 31.6% from 29.5% at the end of June 2006.

Vodafone-Essar – Steady Rise:
Vodafone-Essar had another month of impressive performance, adding 1.69 mn subscribers. Vodafone-Essar’s pace is impressive given its limited presence 16 of 23 circles.

Idea Cellular Limited – Fighting for Spectrum:
Aditya Birla group controlled, Idea Cellular added 878,000 subs (15.3% of GSM market net adds ex-RCL). This comes on the back of a strong 860,000 net adds in the month of June.

Note, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group controlled Reliance Communications Limited has not disclosed its GSM subscriber numbers to COAI. Reliance group is traditionally known for manipulating and cooking up numbers, making best use of loopholes.