India’s telecom user base grows to 119.2 cr, Jio gains 1 cr customers

Chennai: India’s telecom user base grew marginally to 119.2 crore, with only Reliance Jio and BSNL gaining new subscribers, data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), said.

While the Ambani-led firm and State-run entity together added over 1.08 crore new mobile phone customers, Reliance Jio alone added more than one crore new customers. BSNL added 3.66 lakh subscribers.

What was their gain was the loss of other operators such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices, MTNL and Reliance Communications. The entities collectively lost more than 1.01 crore customers.

“Virtual Network Operator (VNO) of BSNL has started reporting of its subscribers in the month of October 2018 and the same has been included in the subscriber number of BSNL,” the report said.

Newly formed and country’s second largest telecom provider, Vodafone Idea lost 73.61 lakh mobile subscribers. Second came Airtel having lost out on 18.64 lakh, followed by Tata Teleservices which lost 9.25 lakh, MTNL that lost 8,068 and RCom lost 3,831 customers.

Mobile telephony dominates Indian telecom market with 98 per cent market share. The number of telephone subscribers in the country increased to 119.2 crore in October from 119.14 crore in September, according to the subscriber data released by TRAI.

Mobile phone segment grew to 117 crore in October from 116.92 crore in September while the wireline subscribers base declined to 2.2 crore from 2.21 crore during the period under review.

Decline in wireline base was mainly due to BSNL which lost 85,200 fixedline customers, followed by RCom (14,120), MTNL (8,684), Tata Teleservices (3,398) and Quadrant (3092). Bharti and Vodafone gained 16,340 and 8,894 wireline customers respectively in October.

The number of broadband customers of 306 service providers increased by around three per cent to 49.61 crore in October from 48.17 crore in September.

Top five service providers constituted 98.42 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers in October.

“These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (26.27 crore), Bharti Airtel (10.13 crore), Vodafone Idea (10.13 crore), BSNL (2.03 crore) and Tata Tele Group (25 lakh),” the report said.

Broadband byte
India’s broadband subscriber base grew at its slowest pace in five years in 2018. Users of fixed and wireless broadband internet grew 44.7 per cent year-on-year, as per data from TRAI research firm techARC said recently.

“This is the lowest in the past five years (2014 onwards) since a lot of industry and government focus started towards increasing the broadband penetration in the country,” the Gurugram-based company noted.

Despite the slowing growth, India’s broadband subscriber base did breach the 500 million milestone in 2018.

Overall “broadband subscribers have grown at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 43.7 per cent in the past five years taking the total number of subscribers to 525 million,” the report said.

NT Bureau