According to the latest report by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the Indian GSM subscriber base rose to 580.66 million in April representing a 11m increase on the previous month.

This ties in our previous report of India having 500 million subscribers, not 800m as was widely believed before.

Airtel which has been adding features such as dataless access to Facebook accounts and plans to bring the iPhone 4 to India this month, has maintained pole position among Indian mobile operators by adding 2.41 million users in April, increasing its total user base to 164.6 million customers with a market share of 28.35%.

Trailing by 5% in terms of market share, Vodafone comes in second with 2.4 million customer additions and a user base of 136.9 million.

In other news, India now has 9 million 3G customers, in spite of expensive pricing and poor speeds across all operators.

According to Business Line, Airtel leads the pack yet again, with 3 million subscribers followed by Tata Docomo with 1.5 million users and Idea Cellular, Vodafone, BSNL each having a million customers apiece.

Mr Shireesh Joshi, Chief Marketing Officer of Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel said:

“The initial response from customers has been overwhelming – but we believe the revolution has just begun. The game changing differentiator for 3G in India will be content and services and not price points.”

When questioned on the erratic connectivity users are facing across the country, he dismissed this saying these are just early stage problems and will be fixed very soon.