For the first time in the past 17 months, India’s broadband subscriber growth has seen a slump. For two consecutive months, the growth in broadband subscribers was less than 1 crore. This news comes from the latest data shared by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). As per the data published by Trai, the broadband subscribers grew by 0.956 crore or 1.7% month-on-month (m-o-m) in May 2019 whereas this number was 0.864 crore or 1.5% m-o-m in the month ended April 30, 2019. Contrary to this, in the preceding month of March, broadband subscribers had grown by 1.307 crore 2.5% m-o-m as compared to February 2019.
Wireless Broadband Subscribers led by Reliance Jio
Trai data noted that broadband internet subscribers across all platforms grew in May 2019 to 58.151 crore, whereas in the previous month this number was 57.195 crore April 2019. As of May 2019, the total number of broadband subscribers in the country were 56.331 crore. The growth of broadband internet subscribers was led by mobile device users mostly in this month as is the case every time. In the month under review, the mobile device broadband subscribers grew by 1.027 crore 1.8% m-o-m to 56.252 crore in May 2019 from 55.225 crore in April 2019.
Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) was at the top of the pyramid, leading the growth of mobile broadband subscribers as it added 0.818 crore subscribers in May 2019 at 32.299 crore from 31.481 crore in April 2019. The Sunil Bharti Mittal led telecom operator, Bharti Airtel added 0.262 crore subs in May 2019 at 11.595 crore from 11.333 crore April 2019. Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, saw a decline of wireless internet subscribers by 0.065 crore in May 2019 to 10.899 crore down from 10.964 crore Apr 2019. The PSU telecom operator, BSNL witnessed subscribers growth of 0.018 crore to 1.257 crore from 1.239 crore previously which was the number of subscribers in April 2019.
Wired Broadband Subscribers Growth Slumps
The growth of wired broadband subscribers was 0.2%, or the industry added 40,000 subs to 1.845 crore in May 2019 from 1.841 crore previously in April 2019. The largest wired broadband service provider, BSNL saw a slump of 60,000 subs to 0.909 crore in the month from 0.915 crore in April 2019. The largest private wired broadband internets services player in the country – Airtel saw its subscriber base rise up by 10,000 to 0.239 crore in May 2019 from 0.238 crore in Apr 2019.
Atria Convergence Technologies or ACT Fibernet also saw a rise in its subscriber base by 10,000 in May 2019 to 0.144 crore 0.143 crore in the previous month. Hathway, the fourth largest company in this regard also saw its subscriber base grow by 10,000 to 0.083 crore from 0.082 crore back in April. The fifth largest player, MTNL saw no growth in this regard and boasted of 0.075 crore subscribers at the end of May 2019. These top five broadband service providers made up 98.69% of market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of May 2019.