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TRAI data shows broadband internet subscriber growth rate slowed in Feb-19

Feb-19 had the lowest growth since Aug-18. Mobile internet had the highest growth in the month

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BENGALURU: The month ended 28 February 2019 (Feb-19) recorded the lowest growth in terms of subscriber addition as well percentage since Aug-18 according to data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for Feb-19. India’s broadband internet (broadband) subscriber base at the end of Feb-19 was 5,502.4 lakh (550.25 million, 55.025 crore) which was 102.5 lakh (10.25 million, 1.025 crore) more or 1.89 percent more than the 5400.4 crore (540.04 million, 54.004 crore) reported for the end of Jan-19. It must be noted that TRAI considers internet speeds equal to or in excess of 512 kpbs as broadband internet. Please refer to the figure below:

As has been the norm, the highest growth both in percentage terms and absolute numbers was by mobiles (phones & dongles). Feb-19 saw mobile broadband subscribers grow by 101.9 lakh (10.19 million, 1.019 crore) to 5,315.4 lakh (531.54 million, 53.154 crore) from 5,213.5 lakh (521.35 million, 52.135 crore) in Jan-19. Wired broadband subscriber base grew 0.11 percent (approximately 20,000 subscriber additions) in Feb-19 to 182.9 lakh (18.92 million, 1.892 crore) while fixed wireless- WiFi, Wi max, point to point, radio, Vsat subscriber base declined slightly (by 0.1 percent) to 4.2 lakh (0.42 million, 0.042 crore) in Feb-19.

The top five broadband internet service providers constituted 98.65 percent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of Feb-19. These service providers were Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd (Jio) 2,972.3 lakh (297.23 million, 29.723 crore), Bharti Airtel(Airtel) 1,121.3 lakh  (112.13 million, 11.213 crore), Vodafone Idea  1,102.5 lakh (110.25 million, 11.025 crore), BSNL 210.1 lakh (21.01 million, 2.101 crore) and Tata Tele Group 21.7 lakh (2.17 million 0.217 crore).

As on 28 February 2019, the top five wired broadband service providers were BSNL 91.7 lakh (9.17 million, 0.917 crore), Bharti Airtel 23.3 lakh (2.33 million, 0.233 crore), Atria Convergence Technologies 14.1 lakh (1.41 million, 0.141 crore), Hathway Cable & Datacom 7.9 lakh  (0.79 million, 0.079 crore) and MTNL 7.6 lakh (0.76 million, 0.076 crore). BSNL subscriber base remained the same as at the end of Jan-19, Airtel added about 30,000 subscribers, and ACT and Hathway added about 10,000 subscribers while MTNL lost about 10,000 subscribers in the month of Feb-19 as compared to Jan-19. The three private broadband internet services providers added 40,000 subscribers, while the overall wired broadband subscriber base grew by just 20,000 indicating that other wired broadband players along with MTNL lost subscribers in Feb-19. 

As on 28 February 2019, the top five wireless broadband service providers were Jio with 2,972.3 lakh (297.23 million, 29.723 crore), Vodafone Idea with 1,102.3 lakh (110.23 million, 11.023 crore), Bharti Airtelwith 1,098 lakh (109.80 million, 10.98 crore), BSNLwith 118.4 lakh (11.84 million, 1.184 crore) and Tata Teleservices 1with 7.2 lakh (1.72 million, 0.172 crore). While Jio added 77.9 lakh (7.79 million, 0.779 crore), Airtel added 18.4 lakh (1.84 million, 0.184 crore) subscribers in Feb-19.  The Vodafone-Idea combine added 3.9 lakh (0.39 million, 0.039 crore) subscribers and BSNL added 2 lakh (0.2 million, 0.02 crore) subscribers in Feb-19 as compared to Jan-19.
 

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