Slowdown seems to be setting in the telecom sector as GSM operators have been able to add merely 7.64 million subscribers in July compared to 8.58 million in the previous month.
With this, the GSM subscriber base stood at 606.41 million at the end of July 2011.
For the third month in a row, subscriber addition continued to decline. In May this year, for the first time since October 2009, the subscriber addition was below the 10-million mark when 9.53 million GSM users were added.
In June, the rate of addition dipped further and only 8.58 million GSM users were added.
The GSM subscriber base stood at 598.77 million at the end of June, 2011.
Bharti Airtel, the largest GSM player, added 1.5 million users in July, taking its total subscriber base to 170.69 million, data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) showed.
It had a 28.15 per cent market share as of the end of July, 2011, it added.
Rival Vodafone Essar, with a 23.58 per cent market share, notched up 1.49 million new subscribers during the month. Its subscriber base stood at 143.01 million at the end of the reporting month.
Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular added 1 million users during the month to take its total user base to 96.11 million, while Aircel added 0.60 million customers to take its subscriber base to 58.58 million.
State-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL added 1.77 million and 28,978 new users, respectively, taking their subscriber base to 90.23 million and 5.26 million, respectively.
The COAI data excludes data from Reliance Communications.
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is the most popular standard for mobile telephony systems in the world.
The other technology platform on which Indian telcos offer services is CDMA, where players such as Tata Teleservices (TTSL), Reliance Communications and MTS are the main operators.
TTSL and Reliance Communications offer both GSM and CDMA services.