Vodafone Essar has entered the 100 million subscriber club in India. Airtel was the first to do it. Reliance followed Airtel. And now Vodafone joins the elite. The big three of India’s telecom companies have reinforced their positions in spite of challenging new comers like Aircel, DoCoMo and Uninor.
With this achievement Vodafone has joined the 100 million subscriber club in a single country club too. Other members of the club include China Mobile, China Unicom, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications. Globally Vodafone has around 427 million subscribers which puts it behind China Mobile globally making it the second largest telecom company by subscribers. Vodafone is also the largest telecom company by revenues.
Vodafone’s India presence started in 2007 with a $11.1 billion purchase of a 67 percent stake from Hutchinson. Essar group holds the rest of the share. The business name is Vodafone Essar and the brand name is Vodafone. It also went through a major rebranding exercise for its brand from Hutch to Vodafone. With the ZooZoo ads and the Hollywood type sign, it made sure Hutch is no longer remembered and made Vodafone look like it existed for years.
Telecom operators market share by subscribers:
Vodafone is placed third behind Airtel and Reliance.
Vodafone is making the most of India’s telecom story. At the end of February 2010, India had 600 million total telephone subscribers, 563 million mobile subscribers and a tele-density of 51.05 percent. Vodafone added more than 16 percent of the total subscribers in February 2010.
Airtel and Reliance said that their next 100 million will come in three years. Would Vodafone say the same?
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