Regulators

Aug-17:Jio leads broadband subscriber growth, BSNL leads wireline subscriber decline

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BENGALURU: India’s broadband subscriber base grew 1.81 percent in the month of August 2017 (Aug-17) by 5.61 million to 316.48 million from 310.87 million at the end of July 2017 (Jul-17). The growth was led by the Mukesh Ambani-led unstoppable juggernaut Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio), which added 4.1 million new subscribers in August 2017 to take its subscriber base to a staggering 132.68 million. At the same time, the government’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) reported a loss of 60,000 wireline internet subscribers – to take its wireline subscriber base to 9.60 million from 9.66 million in the previous month. Overall, wireless subscriber numbers grew, while wireline and fixed wireless subscriber numbers continued to decline in Aug-17 as compared to the numbers reported for Jul-17.

As per data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the top  five  service  broadband internet service providers  (across all platforms – wireless, wireline, fixed wireless (Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, Point-to- Point Radio & VSAT) constituted 90.85 percent market  share  of  the  total  broadband  subscribers  at  the  end  of  Aug-17. These  service  providers  were  Jio (132.68  million),  Bharti  Airtel  (60.14  million), Vodafone (43.56 million), Idea Cellular (29.46 million) and BSNL  (21.69 million).

Wireless Broadband Internet Subscribers

As mentioned above, Jio still continued to lead growth in wireless broadband internet subscribers in the country eleven months after its commercial launch on 5 September 2016. Jio has added 60.52 million subscribers in calendar year 2017 (CY-17) until Aug-17.

The top five wireless broadband service providers were Jio (132.68 million), Bharti Airtel (58.03 million), Vodafone (43.55 million), Idea Cellular (29.46 million) and Reliance Communications (10.87 million).

Wired Broadband Internet Subscribers

The top five wired broadband srvice providers were BSNL (9.60 million), Bharti Airtel (2.11 million), Atria Convergence Technologies or ACT (1.24 million), MTNL (0.96 million) and You Broadband (0.66 million).

ACT Broadband, probably the largest private wired internet service player in South India, continued to lead subscriber acquisitions in calendar year 2017 (CY-17, since 31 December 2016 or Dec-16) to Aug-17 with the addition of about 0.12 million broadband internet subscribers. Airtel has added around 70,000 wireline broadband internet service providers in CY-17 until Aug-17.

As per TRAI data, the broadband wireline subscriber base in India declined in Aug-17 to 18.10 million from 18.40 million in Jul-17. Among the top five wireline broadband internet services providers in the country, BSNL and MTNL lost 60,000 and 10,000 subscribers respectively in the month of Aug-17. Airtel, the second largest wireline broadband internet player and ACT, reported a gain of 10,000 subscribers each and You Broadband reported a steady subscriber base of 0.66 million. This implies that the other wireline broadband internet service providers in the country besides those mentioned above gained 0.2 million subscribers in the month of Aug-17. Amongst the other wireline broadband internet service providers are multi-system operators and local cable operators that provide internet services through their video cables using technology that includes various versions of DOCSIS technology.

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