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Broadband subs growth still sluggish in May 2019

For the 1st time in 17 months, 2 consecutive months saw less than 1 crore subs growth

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BENGALURU: India’s broadband subscribers growth has slowed down over the past few months according to data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). For the first time in 17 months, two consecutive months saw subscribers grow less than 1 crore (10 million, 100 lakh) per month. India’s broadband internet subscribers grew by 0.956 crore (9.56 million, 95.6 lakh) or 1.7 percent month-on-month (m-o-m) in the month ended 31 May 2019 (May-19, month under review) and grew by 0.864 crore (8.64 million, 86.4 lakh) or 1.5 percent m-o-m in the month ended 30 April 2019 (Apr-19). In March 2019, broadband internet subscribers grew by 1.307 crore (13.07 million, 130.7 lakh) or 2.5 percent m-o-m as compared to Feb-19. Broadband internet subscribers across all platforms grew in May-19 to 58.151 crore (581.51 million, 5,815.1 lakh) from 57.195 crore (571.95 million, 5,719.5 lakh) in Apr-19. The total broadband subscriber base in Mar-19 stood at 56.331 crore (563.31 million, 5,633.1 lakh).

As has been the norm, broadband internet subscriber growth was led by Mobile devices users (Phones and dongles) in May-19. Mobile device broadband subscribers grew by 1.027 crore (10.27 million, 102.7 lakh) or 1.8 percent m-o-m to 56.252 crore (562.52 million, 5,625.2 lakh) in May-19 from 55.225 crore (552.25 million, 5,522.5 lakh) in Apr-19. Mukesh Dhirbhai Ambani’s biggest startup in the world – Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) led growth with the addition of 0.818 crore (8.18 million, 81.8 lakh) in May-19 at 32.299 crore (322.99 million or 3,229.9 lakh) from 31.481 crore (318.41 million, 3,184.1 lakh) in Apr-19. Bharti Airtel (Airtel) witnessed wireless subscriber growth of 0.262 crore (2.62 million or 26.2 lakh) in May-19 at 11.595 crore (115.95 million or 1,159.5 lakh) from 11.333 crore (113.33 million or 1,133.3 lakh) in Apr-19. The third largest broadband internet services player in the country – the Vodafone-Idea combine saw wireless internet subscribers decline by 0.065 crore (0.65 million or 6.5 lakh) in May-19 to 10.899 crore (108.99 million or 1,089.9 lakh) from 10.964 crore (109.64 million, 1,096.4 lakh) in Apr-19. The public sector BSNL saw subscribers grow 0.018 crore (0.18 million, 1.8 lakh) to 1.257 crore (12.57 million or 125.7 lakh) from 1.239 crore (12.39 million or 123.9 lakh) in Apr-19.

Wired subscribers grew 0.2 percent or by 40,000 to 1.845 crore (18.45 million, 184.5 lakh) in May-19 from 1.841 crore (18.41 million or 184.1 lakh) in Apr-19. Three of the five top wired internet players saw subscriber growth, one witnessed decline and one saw no growth at all. The largest wired broadband internet player- BSNL saw subscribers decline by 60,000 to 0.909 crore (9.09 million or 90.9 crore) in May-19 from 0.915 crore (9.15 million or 91.5 lakh) in Apr-19. The largest private wired broadband internets services player in the country – Airtel witnessed subscriber growth of 10,000 to 0.239 crore (2.39 million or 23.9 lakh) in May-19 from 0.238 crore (2.38 million or 23.8 lakh) in Apr-19. Atria Convergence Technologies or  ACT also witnessed subscriber growth of 10,000 in May-19 to 0.144 crore (1.44 million or 14.4) lakh from 0.143 crore (1.43 million or 14.3 lakh). The fourth largest wired internet services player in terms of subscribers – Hathway also saw its subscriber base grow by 10,000 to 0.083 crore (0.83 million or 8.3 lakh) from 0.082 crore (0.82 million or 8.2 lakh). The fifth largest wired broadband internet services player – MTNL saw no growth in subscribers in May-19 as compared to Apr-19. BASNL had a subscriber growth of 0.075 crore (0.75 million or 7.5 lakh) at the end of May-19.

The top five broadband internet service providers across all platforms constituted 98.69 percent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of May-19. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd  (Jio)  at 32.299 crore (322.99 million, 3,229.9 lakh), Bharti Airtel 11.834 crore (118.34 million, 1,183.4 lakh), Vodafone Idea 10.901 crore (109.01 million, 1,090.1 lakh), BSNL 2.167 crore (21.67 million or 216.7 lakh) and Tata Teleservices 0.187 crore (1.87 million, 18.7 lakh).

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