Anyone who wonders why RIM’s recent troubles bringing BlackBerrys to India were such a big deal need only look at these numbers to understand. According to the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), India’s GSM networks added a record breaking 7.7 million net customers in October, bringing India’s total GSM base to 241.4 million. These figures, however, do not include the GSM subscriber base from Reliance Communications – which although a predominantly CDMA operator has a growing GSM base as well. Adding Reliance Communications’ estimated 9.2 million GSM subscribers would bring India’s total base to over 250 million GSM customers.
250 million GSM subscribers – just think about that number for a second. That’s almost the population of the United States. How much would it improve RIM’s bottom line to grab even a small percentage of that number?