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Broadband subscriber growth picks up in October 2019

Growth in Oct-19 was third highest in absolute numbers over a 22-month period

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BENGALURU: Overall broadband internet subscribers in India grew by 1.866 crore or 2.98 per cent  in the month ended 31 October 2019 (Oct-19) from the numbers reported by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for the month ended 30 September 2019 (Sep-19). TRAI reported 62.542 crore (625.42 million or 6,254.2 lakh) broadband internet subscribers across all segments for Sep-19. This number grew to 64.408 crore (644.08 million or 6,440.8 lakh) in Oct-19 as per the latest numbers published by Trai.

Subscriber growth for Oct-19 was the third highest over a 22-month period starting Jan-18 until Oct-19 in absolute numbers. In percentage terms, Oct-19 saw the ninth highest growth during the same period. Over the period under consideration in the paper, broadband internet subscriber growth has been on a decline as is evident from the black trend line the graph below:

The figure below shows the subscriber growth ranking for the months during the period under consideration in this paper in terms of absolute growth numbers as well as per centage terms.

Trai data reveals that broadband subscribers grew by 1.857 crore (18.57 million or 185.7 lakh) or 3.06 per cent to 62.441 crore in Oct-19 from 60.584 crore (605.84 million or 6,054.8 lakh) in Sep-19 on the Mobiles (Phones and dongles) segment. Wired broadband internet segment grew by 0.007 crore (0.07 million or 0.07 lakh) or 0.37 per cent in Oct-19 to 1.908 crore(19.08 million or 190.8 lakh) from 1.901 crore (19.01 million or 190.1 lakh) in Sep-19. Fixed wireless – WiFi, WiMax, Point to Pont, Radio, Vsat subscribers grew 0.002 crore (0.02 million or 0.2 lakh) or 4.22 per cent to 0.059 crore (0.59 million or 5.9 lakh) in Oct-19 from 0.057 crore (0.57 million or 5.7 lakh) in the previous month.

Please refer to the figure below.

Top 5 Broadband Internet Subscribers

According to Trai data, the top five broadband internet service providers constituted 98.98 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of Oct-19. These service providers were Reliance JioInfocom Ltd 36.512 crore (365.12 million or 3,651.2 lakh), Bharti Airtel 13.286 crore (132.86 million or 1,328.6 lakh), Vodafone Idea 11.580 crore (115.80 million or 1,158 lakh), BSNL 2.27 crore (22.27 million or 2,227 lakh) and Atria Convergence 0.149 crore (1.49 million or 14.9 lakh).

Top 5 wireless broadband internet subscribers

As on 31 October, 2019, the top five wireless broadband service providers were Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd with 36.433 crore (364.33 million or 3,643.3 lakh), Bharti Airtel with 13.045 crore (130.45 million or 1,304.5 lakh), Vodafone Idea with 11.578 crore (115.78 million or 1,157.8 lakh), BSNL with 1.364 crore (13.64 million 136.4 lakh) and MTNL with 0.02 crore (0.20 million or 20 lakh) subscribers.

Top 5 wired broadband internet subscribers

As on 31 October, 2019, the top five Wired Broadband Service providers were BSNL with 0.862 crore (8.62 million, 86.2 lakh), Bharti Airtel 0.24 crore (2.40 million or 24 lakh), Atria Convergence Technologies with 0.149 crore (1.49 million or 14.9 lakh), Hathway Cable & Datacom with 0.087 crore (0.87 million or 8.7 lakh) and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd with 0.079 crore (0.79 million or 7.9 lakh). Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited is a new entrant to the top 5 list in October 2019. It replaced You Broadband which had 0.075 crore (0.75 million or 7.9 lakh) broadband internet subscribers in Sep-19. BSNL and Bharti Airtel Limited both lost wired broadband internet subscribers in Oct-19.

The top five wired broadband internet service providers lost 80,000 subscribers in Oct-19. Since the wired internet broadband subscriber base grew by 70,000 during the same period, other smaller service providers which include MSOs and LCOs must have added 150,000 subscribers in Oct-19.

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