Indian telecom gaint Bharti Airtel is now the 4th largest mobile operator globally with over 25 crore connnections, says Wireless Intelligence. China Mobile continues to top the charts, with 68 crore connections, followed by the Vodafone Group (39 crore) and America Movil Group (25 crore).
Bharti Airtel (250.04) and Telefonica Group (243.51) are at 4th and 5th positions, respectively. Besides China Unicom (6th position), Bharti Airtel is the only one among the top ten to move up the ranking, registering a 13 % year-on-year growth in connections.
Bharti Airtel had become the 5th largest operator globally following acquisition of Zain Group's operations in 15 African nations in June 2010. However, Bharti's mobile revenue at $ 3.04 billion in the second quarter of FY12 is significantly lower than the that of others in the top five, reflecting its presence in the ultra low-cost, low-margin Indian and African markets.
The other Indian operators in the report are Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular and BSNL at the 8th, 14th and 20th positions respectively. Telenor and Sistema -- foreign firms with a subsidiary in India -- were at the 9th and 15th positions, respectively.