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Idea-Vodafone to merge:10 interesting facts about the Indian telecom sector

Puneet Wadhwa / 20 Mar 17 | 01:50 PM

Photo: Shutterstock

The merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone announced earlier today is likely to create the biggest telecom operator in the country with a customer base of close to 400 million, or 35% market share.

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Here are 10 interesting facts about the Indian telecom sector, compiled from a March 2017 report on the telecom sector by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) report.

1. With a subscriber base of nearly 1058.86 million, as of March 2016, India accounted for the second – largest telecom network in the world. The subscriber base has expanded at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.96% during FY07–16

2. With 462.12 million internet subscriptions, as of July 2016, India stood third-highest in terms of total internet users in 2016

3. Mobile based Internet is a key component of Indian Internet usage, with seven out of eight users accessing internet from their mobile phones

4. Since 2012, the share of time spent on watching videos on mobile devices has grown by 200 hours a year

5. As of March 2016, urban tele-density stood at 154.01% and rural tele-density at 51.37%

6. As of March 2016, Bharti Airtel was the market leader, with a 24.31% share in the total subscription, followed by Vodafone (19.15% share)

7. The top five players in the sector include - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance, and BSNL – accounting for 78.74% of the total subscribers in the country

8. Total fixed-line subscription stood at 25.95 million, while tele-density reached 2.06% due to wide usability of the wireless segment in FY16

9. BSNL is the market leader with a 60.28% share, followed by MTNL (13.60%); BSNL, MTNL, and Bharti together account for 87.46% of the total fixed-line market

10. As of March 2016, Bharti accounted for the largest share of 25.7% in the total broadband market of India; Vodafone accounted for the second-largest share of 18.54% in the country’s broadband market, during the same period.

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