Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across India added 360,000 subscribers in May, 2020, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) highlighted in its report on Wednesday. According to the Trai data, the wired broadband service providers across India registered a combined subscriber base of 19.38 million as on May 31, 2020. In April, the wired broadband service providers recorded a combined subscriber base of 19.02 million representing an 1.88% monthly growth in the subscriber base. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Bharti Airtel, Atria Convergence Technologies, Hathway Cable and Datacom along with Reliance Jio continued to emerge as the top five wired broadband service providers in India.
BSNL Continues to Lose Wired Broadband Subscribers
BSNL continued its position as the top wired broadband service provider in India with a subscriber base of 7.93 million as on May 31, 2020. However, the operator in April recorded a subscriber base of 7.97 million subscribers with the data highlighting that BSNL lost 40,000 subscribers in one month.
The operator as on December 31, 2019, recorded a subscriber base of 8.39 million but has since consistently recorded a decline in its subscriber base. With the Trai subscription data for the month of May highlighting that BSNL had 7.93 million subscribers, the operator has lost over 460,000 subscribers in five months.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel retained its position as the second largest wired broadband service provider in India with a subscriber base of 2.41 million as on May 31, 2020. The operator till April had consistently registered an increase in its subscriber base. In March, Airtel is said to have recorded 2.47 million subscribers before its subscriber base dipped in April to 2.44 million. It also has to be noted that Airtel post the initial COVID-19 lockdowns had provided multiple offers to new users signing up for its Xstream Fiber connection including free installation and free router.
India was under an intense lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 24, 2020. While the government eased certain restrictions in the second phase of the lockdown that was implemented from April 16, shops and businesses were allowed to function in limited capacity only in late April. Further, the government eased several other restrictions in the third phase of the lockdown implemented from May 4.
Airtel was among the initial set of internet providers to have resumed sign ups for its wired broadband service in mid-April.
ACT and Reliance Jio Gain Record Subscribers in May
The Trai telecom Subscription data for the month of May reveals that the Atria Convergence Technologies recorded a subscriber base of 1.64 million. In April, the operator recorded a subscriber base of 1.59 million with the data highlighting that Atria Convergence Technologies added 50,000 subscribers in one month.
Hathway Cable and Datacom also retained its subscriber base in India with the operator recording a subscriber base of 0.97 million as on May 31, 2020. The operator since March had maintained its subscriber base of 0.97 million. In February, Hathway Cable and Datacom registered a subscriber base of 0.94 million.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio Infocomm emerged as the largest gainer of wired broadband subscribers in May with the operator registering a subscriber base of 0.97 million. In April, the operator recorded a subscriber base of 0.90 million with the data highlighting that Reliance Jio gained 70,000 subscribers in one month. It has to be noted that Reliance Jio that offers its service under JioFiber provided Basic broadband connectivity with speeds of 10 Mbps for no additional charge. The operator offered the Basic broadband connectivity to subscribers even with the inactive lines in April. Further, the company since late March has been offering double data to all its subscribers due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
In late July, Trai released its Telecom Subscription data for April highlighting that the wired broadband service providers across India lost 160,000 subscribers. The top five wired broadband service providers in India all recorded a dip in the subscriber base while Reliance Jio recorded an increase in its wired broadband subscriber base. It remains to be seen how the wired broadband service providers fare in June as the country transitioned from COVID-19 lockdown phase to the Unlock 1.0 phase. The government with the Unlock 1.0 eased several restrictions that were in place since the COVID-19 lockdown in March including relaxations to shops, offices and food outlets.