September 23, 2009 / 2:05 PM / 10 years ago

India adds 15.1 mln mobile users in Aug - TRAI

A man speaks on a mobile phone in Mumbai in this October 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian mobile operators added 15.1 million users in August, their second-highest monthly performance ever, with sixth-ranked operator Tata Teleservices leading growth in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market.

India had 456.7 million mobile subscribers at the end of August, data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed, meaning about 40 percent of India’s billion-plus population now has a phone.

August’s subscriber additions by Indian firms were the biggest since March, when they had signed a record 15.64 million users. They added 14.38 million in July.

Tata Teleservices, in which Japan’s NTT DoCoMo owns a 26 percent stake, is predominantly a CDMA-based operator but recently expanded its GSM network to some telecoms zones.

New tariff plans such as per-second billing introduced for GSM customers helped it add a highest-ever 3.4 million subscribers in August.

Bharti Airtel, India’s top mobile operator, added 2.8 million users in August to take its base to 108 million. Second-ranked Reliance Communications added 2.1 million to increase its base to 84.1 million.

No. 3 Vodafone Essar, controlled by Vodafone Plc, signed up 2.2 million customers to have 80.9 million.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the fourth-largest mobile firm, signed up 1.3 million to reach 57.3 million, while fifth-ranked Idea Cellular gained 1.5 million to cross 50 million.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by David Holmes)

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