New operators, including Uninor, MTS, STel, Etisalat DB and Videocon, which were given unified access service (UAS) licences in 2008, have together captured 14 per cent of the incremental share in addition of new subscribers over the last one year.
This is contrary to the perception that new players have not been able to make inroads into the Indian telecom market.
Incremental share essentially means the net new addition of subscribers each month.
These numbers go up to 24 per cent if the subscriber base of Tata Teleservices' GSM service, launched after it got a licence under dual technology in 2008, is included.
While Uninor garnered 7.3 per cent of incremental share, Videocon got 3.3 per cent and MTS 2.3 per cent, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) figures for the January-November period.
Uninor has a total subscriber base of 16.2 million, MTS has 7.8 million, while Videocon has 6.7 million users.
These operators were given licences in January 2008. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued notices to many of these new players for not meeting rollout obligations of the licence allotment and imposed penalties.
The incremental share of new players is substantially high in circles like Mumbai (29.7 per cent), Haryana (21.1 per cent), Kolkata (21.1 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (20.9 per cent).
The new operators have been under a cloud because many of them have not rolled out services as stipulated in the licence agreement.
There is a clear imbalance in the subscriber base of new operators, with Uninor, MTS, Videocon and Tata DOCOMO together accounting for 22.9 per cent of incremental share and Etisalat DB and S Tel lagging with just 1 per cent.