Regulators

Jio continues leading broadband subs addition while wireline internet loses subs in Oct

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BENGALURU: Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani’s Reliance Infocomm Limited (Jio) closed the month with 145.96 million wireless broadband subscribers having added 7.34 million subscribers during October 2017. Since 1 January 2017, the new telecom behemoth has added 129.91 million subscribers between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2017 according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). In terms of growth, however, Jio had to accede to third place–it grew by 5.30 percent as compared to 7.69 percent growth by the Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel Limited and 5.31 percent growth by Vodafone in October 2017.

India’s wireline broadband internet subscriber base has been declining over the past few months. Overall, the number of wired broadband internet subscriber base declined by 0.33 percent month-on-month in October 2017 to 17.98 million from 18.04 million. Among the top-five wired broadband service providers, the three private players gained subscribers while the public sector service providers lost them.

Overall broadband internet service providers

The top-five service providers (across wired, mobile wireless and fixed wireless, such as Wi-fi, Wi-Max, point-to-point, radio, and V-Sat) constituted 92.17 percent share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of October 2017. These service providers were Jio (145.96 million), Bharti Airtel (66.92 million), Vodafone (48.42 million), Idea Cellular (31.03 million), and BSNL (21.21 million).

Top-five wireless broadband internet service providers

In October 2017, the wireless broadband internet subscriber base in India grew by 15.34 million. Jio numbers have been mentioned above. Airtel reported the second largest addition of wireless subscribers in the month with 4.63 million additions to reach a subscriber base of 64.8 million. Vodafone added 2.44 million subscribers in the month under review and reached a subscriber base of 48.41 million followed by Idea Cellular which added 1.42 million subscribers with a subscriber base of 31.03 million as on 31 October. Anil Dhirubhai Ambani-led Reliance Communications Limited (RCom) had a stable wireless broadband subscriber base in October 2017 of 8.98 million.

According to Trai data, as on 31 October 2017, the top-five wireless broadband service providers were Jio (145.96 million), Bharti Airtel (64.80 million), Vodafone (48.41 million), Idea Cellular (31.03 million), and Reliance Communications (8.98 million).

Top-five wireline broadband internet service providers

As on 31 October 2017, the top-five wired broadband service providers were BSNL (9.48 million), Airtel (2.13 million), Atria Convergence Technologies or ACT(1.26 million), MTNL (0.94 million), and Hathway Cable & Datacom (0.68 million). As mentioned above, Airtel, ACT and Hathway gained 0.01 million, 0.02 million and 0.01 million subscribers, respectively, in October 2017 while BSNL and MTNL lost 0.06 million and 0.1 million subscribers, respectively.

Other broadband internet service providers

MSOs and (LCOs) or cable video service providers also offer wired broadband internet services in the country. These cable service providers have a number of subsidiaries and alliances, hence broadband numbers are split as applicable. The consolidated subscription numbers of these entities could be larger than the numbers of some of the wired internet services providers mentioned above. However, it must be noted that some of these MSOs and LCOs could have lost subscribers in October 2017 considering that the top-five wired broadband internet services providers have lost only 0.03 million of the 0.06 million wireline internet subscribers in during the month.

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