The Indian wired broadband service providers lost 160,000 subscribers in April, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) highlighted in a report on Friday. According to the Trai report, the fixed broadband subscriber base in India dipped to 19.02 million in April as compared to 19.18 million in March. It has to be noted that India was under intense lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 24. 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. The lockdown areas were also classified into red, orange and green zones in the second phase of the lockdown.
Broadband Service Providers Lose Subscribers in the Lockdown Period
However, the government permitted normal movement in the green zones only in the third phase of lockdown that was implemented from May 4 with more retail shops permitted to operate in the phase.
While certain providers including Bharti Airtel resumed sign ups for broadband installation in mid-April followed by installations in certain zones in late April, providers like Tata Sky resumed installations in early May.
The Trai data highlights that the wireline service providers registered a negative growth rate of 0.82% between March and April.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) continued its position as the top wireline service provider in India with a subscriber base of 7.97 million as of April 30, 2020. In March, the state-run operator had a subscriber base of 8.08 million indicating that BSNL lost 0.11 million or 1,10,000 subscribers in April.
Bharti Airtel retained its position as the second largest provider in India with a subscriber base of 2.44 million in April. The operator had a registered subscriber base of 2.47 million in March indicating that the operator lost 0.03 million or 30,000 subscribers in April.
Atria Convergence Technologies recorded a subscriber base of 1.59 million in April as compared to 1.61 million in March. The operator lost 0.02 million or 20,000 subscribers in April.
Reliance Jio Gains Subscribers in April While Hathway Maintains its Subscriber Base
Hathway Cable and Datacom registered identical subscriber base of 0.97 million in both March and April.
However, Reliance Jio that offers its services through JioFiber emerged as the lone gainer on the list of the top five wired service providers in India. The operator is said to have gained 30,000 subscribers in April. According to the Trai data, Reliance Jio registered a subscriber of 0.90 million in April as compared to 0.87 million in March. It has to be noted that JioFiber provided Basic broadband connectivity with speeds of 10 Mbps for no additional charge to subscribers even with the inactive lines in April.