Demand for the internet has surged through the roof, and the reason for that is work from home, new Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, and a rise in consumption of over-the-top (OTT) content. This has helped the Indian telecom industry add new internet subscribers in 2020.
India had 795.18 million internet subscribers by the end of the December quarter in FY2020-21. This number signifies a quarterly growth rate of 2.41% since the number of internet subscribers in India by the end of the September quarter in FY2020-21 were 776.45 million.
The total number of internet subscribers can further be bifurcated into wireless and wired internet subscribers. Wired internet subscribers in India were only 25.54 million users, whereas the remaining 769.64 million subscribers were wireless internet users.
Broadband Internet Subscribers Grew in India
Further, the total internet subscriber base is comprised of broadband and narrowband users. There were a total of 747.41 million broadband subscribers and 47.77 million narrowband users in India by the end of December 2020.
Quarter-on-Quarter (QoQ), the broadband subscriber base in India grew by 2.90% to 747.41 million users at the end of December 2020 from 726.32 million users at the end of September 2020.
At the same time, narrowband subscribers saw a decline in QoQ growth rate from 50.14 million users at the end of September 2020 to 47.77 million subscribers at the end of December 2020.
At the end of December 2020, out of the total internet subscribers, 96.71% of users came under the ‘mobile wireless’ category, 3.21% of users came under the ‘wired’ category, and 0.08% of users came under the ‘fixed wireless’ category.
The complete data comes from a report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The rising number of internet subscribers throughout the country is a positive sign for the telecom industry of India.
Other private internet service providers (ISPs) will also be looking to capitalise on the growing number of wireline subscribers. The pandemic should further fuel the number of internet subscribers in the last quarter (January to March) of FY2020-21, and the positive quarterly growth trend should continue for the FY2021-22 period as well.
More internet subscribers in the country would mean overall higher revenues for the industry, and the companies can also bank on the opportunity to increase average revenue per use (ARPU).