The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recently released the monthly subscription data for the month of August 2018. Going by the report, the wireless subscriber base in the country grew by 9.9 million taking the overall user base to 1,166.9 million. At the same time, the active wireless subscriber base also witnessed a steady growth adding 6.9 million over the previous month. Further, the wireless broadband subscriber base too maintained growth momentum, witnessing a growth of 1% during the month of August 2018.
Reliance Jio Leads the Chart Yet Again
In the report, Trai revealed that the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio added a whopping 12.2 million subscribers which took its over subscriber base close to 250 million. Recently, Jio revealed that its subscriber has crossed 250 million based on the strong subscriber addition in September as well. With this new addition, Jio has now added over 52 million subscribers to its network in five months of this financial year.
Jio's active user base is growing with every passing month, according to the ratings agency, ICRA. Mr Harsh Jagnani, Sector Head & Vice President- Corporate Ratings, ICRA said “The growth in subscriber base in August has been primarily led by RJio, which added 12.2 million subscribers, witnessing the highest monthly addition in last 18 months. With this, Reliance Jio has now added over 52 million subscribers to its network in 5M FY2019, thereby consolidating its position in the industry. In line with the increase in the total subscriber base, Reliance Jio has added 38 million active subscribers, inching closer to 200 million mark. While the active subscriber level of the industry is similar to that of 18 months back, an important aspect is that there has been three months of consistent subscriber growth – adding 29 million, following the certainty on industry participants with three private operators remaining (apart from the state-owned ones).”
Positive Wireless Broadband Subscriber Base is a Good Thing for the Industry
Right now, the newly formed Vodafone Idea Limited is the leading company with a market share of 38%, followed by Bharti Airtel at 30% and Reliance Jio at 21%. On active subscriber basis, Vodafone Idea market share stands at 40%, followed by Bharti at 34% and Jio at 20% as of August 2018.
Overall, these top three telcos together have a subscriber base of 1,026.8 million or 88.0% market share as of August 2018. In terms of active subscribers as well, the top three telcos hold 946.0 million active subscribers or 93.4% market share as of August 2018.
As per ICRA, another positive for the industry has been the growth momentum in the wireless broadband subscriber base, increasing to 445.6 million in August 2018, an increase of 1% over the previous month. Further, considering that wireless broadband subscribers still constitute only around 38% of the total wireless subscribers in the country, there is considerable growth potential.