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Broadband subs growth slows further, wireline broadband loses subs

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BENGALURU: The growth of broadband subscribers has been slowing over the past few months. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data for the month of May 2017 (as on 31 May 2017) indicates that wireless internet subscribers increased by just 0.22 percent in May-17 to 272.85 million from 265.43 million in April 2017. Top five broadband internet service providers constituted 88.23 percent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of May-17. These service providers were Reliance JioInfocom Ltd (117.34 million), Bharti Airtel (53.30 million), Vodafone (40.43 million), Idea Cellular (24.63 million) and BSNL (21.59 million).

As on 31 May, 2017, the top five Wireless Broadband Service providers were Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd or Jio (117.34 million), Bharti Airtel (51.21 million), Vodafone (40.42 million), Idea Cellular (24.63 million) and Reliance Communications (14.46 million). Month-on-Month (MoM) growth in May-17 as compared to April-17 was:

Please refer to the figures below:

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Overall growth of mobile broadband subscribers in May-17 with respect to April-17 was: 3.12 percent; Jiogrew by 4.2 percent; Airtel grew by 2.07 percent; Vodafone by 1.69 percent; Idea Cellular by 2.24 percent and Reliance Communications grew by 3.29 percent. The upside of the growth numbers was that both Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications witnessed positive subscriber growth in May-17 as opposed to de-growth in the previous month (April-17) as compared to March-17.

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In the meantime, wired broadband internet subscribers declined 0.11 percent in May-17 to 18.23 million from 18.25 million in April-17. As on 31 May, 2017, the top five Wired Broadband Service providers were BSNL (9.80 million), Bharti Airtel (2.09 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (1.20 million), MTNL (0.99 million) and You Broadband (0.64 million). Among the top 5 wired broadband internet service providers the government run providers – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited (MTNL) lost subscribers, Airtel saw no change, while the minnows ACT and You Broadband both gained subscribers in May17 as compared to April 17

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In CY-17 until May-17, ACT has added the largest number of wired internet subscribers at 80,000, followed by Airtel with 50,000 additions. You BB added 40,000 subscribers, while BSNL lost 150,000 and MTNL lost 50,000 subscribers during the same period.

Notes: (1) The Indian numbering system or the Vedic numbering system has been used at some places in this paper/charts to denote numerical values. The basic conversion to the international norm would be:

(a) 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10,000,000 = 10 million = 1 crore.

(b) 10,000 lakh = 100 crore = 1 arab = 1 billion.

(2) TRAI reports indicate data in millions of numbers up to 2 decimal places. Hence it is assumed in this report that a figure of 0.51 million (5.1 lakh) subscribers for You BB for Dec-2015 would be granular to the nearest 10,000. While percentages have been mentioned up to two decimal places, the accuracy may vary, depending upon the exact number.

 (3) MSOs’ have a number of subsidiaries and alliances, hence broadband numbers are split as applicable. The consolidated subscription numbers of these entities could be larger. Hathway is a case in point.

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