Rate of fixed broadband subscriber addition ‘steady’ for Jio, Bharti in Nov: Report

PTI, Jan 31, 2021, 12:34 PM IST

Source: Unsplash

Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel added 1,70,000 and 60,000 subscribers, respectively in fixed broadband business during November, treading at a pace similar to the previous month, according to a report.

The rate of additions in fixed broadband business, however, remains ”slower than expectations” despite the recent reduction in entry-level plans by the industry, Kotak Institutional Equities said in its latest report citing TRAI subscriber data.

Jio and Bharti now have 19 lakh and 27 lakh fixed broadband subscribers, respectively.

”The fixed broadband business for Jio and Bharti gained 0.17 million (1.7 lakh) and 0.06 million (60,000) subscribers, respectively in the month of November, at a pace similar to the previous month,” it said. The pace of user additions in fixed broadband business remained ”steady” for Jio and Bharti, it added.

According to data by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the wired broadband subscribers numbers inched up to 21.89 million (2.19 crore) as on November 2020, from 21.51 million (2.15 crore) as of October 2020.

In contrast, wireless broadband subscriber numbers touched 719.53 million (71.95 crore) in November up from 712.67 million (71.26 crore) in the previous month.

TRAI data showed that as on November, the top five Wireless Broadband Service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (40.83 crore), Bharti Airtel (17.17 crore), Vodafone Idea (12.1 crore), BSNL (1.84 crore) and Tikona Infinet Ltd (3.1 lakh).

Overall, Bharti Airtel added the highest number of mobile subscribers in November, ahead of Reliance Jio, even as Vodafone Idea lost customers during the period.

Airtel gained a staggering 43.7 lakh wireless subscribers, pushing up its user base to 33.46 crore, while rival Jio added 19.3 lakh subscribers. India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio’s subscriber base stood at 40.82 crore as on November 2020.

”Jio’s wireless net additions remained low at 1.9 million (19 lakh); however, VLR additions rose to 5.4 million (54 lakh) and…VIL continued to grapple with subscriber loss, at 2.9 million (29 lakh),” Kotak note said. Active subscribers are calculated based on reported Visitor Location Register (VLR), a key metric reflecting the number of active users on a mobile network.

”Jio’s VLR subscribers print showed signs of improvement with ahead-of-industry net gains of 5.4 million (54 lakh) adding up to a base of 324.8 million (32.48 crore), which is now marginally ahead of Bharti, who added 3.9 million (39 lakh) on its VLR base that increased to 323.4 million (32.34 crore),” the Kotak note said.

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