The Trai released its monthly subscription data for October 2020 and we have already reported the monthly numbers for telecom operators. The report also has the numbers achieved by wired broadband service providers. Leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) BSNL lost 50,000 existing customers during the month, whereas private ISPs- Airtel Xstream Fiber and JioFiber gained subscribers. The Trai data conflicts the report which emerged recently saying BSNL added over 85,000 new broadband users in October. BSNL' wired broadband subscriber base dipped to 7.75 million at the end of October 2020 from 7.80 million at the end of September 2020. On the other hand, Airtel Xstream Fiber (Bharti Airtel) user base increased to 2.67 million from 2.60 million.
BSNL Continues to Lose Broadband Users Despite Launching Affordable Plans
BSNL introduced affordable and aggressive broadband plans to counter JioFiber and Airtel Xstream Fiber at the beginning of October. A Business Line report at the end of November highlighted that BSNL installed more than 85,000 FTTH connections on the backing of new Bharat Fiber plans which start at Rs 449. And the report also said the ISP was targeting to install one lakh new connections in November. The Trai data for October says otherwise. BSNL lost 50,000 existing FTTH users which dipped its subscriber base to 7.75 million. Now, we should wait for the monthly data from Trai for November 2020 to see how BSNL performed.
Trai says the second-largest wired broadband operator in India is Bharti Airtel and it added 70,000 new users in October taking its overall subscriber base to 2.67 million. ACT Fibernet or Atria Convergence Technologies is third on the list with 1.74 million user base, that's up from 1.73 million at the end of September.
JioFiber continues to add new broadband customers on a decent number. In October, JioFiber grabbed 1.8 lakh new customers which boosted its overall subscriber base to 1.70 million from 1.52 million. JioFiber is aggressively expanding its availability across the country to increase the subscriber base. Fifth on the list is Hathway Cable & Datacom whose subscriber base stood rock solid at 1.05 million.
The overall wired subscriber base in India grew to 21.51 million at the end of October from 21.12 million in September, with a growth rate of 1.85%. Unlike the wireless broadband, which grew at a rapid pace since 2016, the wired broadband segment in India is seeing a very slow growth with JioFiber and Airtel Xstream Fiber leading the growth rate. BSNL recently revised its broadband plans to offer faster data speeds and up to ten times more FUP limit.