Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced the Telecom Subscriber report for May 2021. According to TRAI Net Addition for wireless subscribers was – 6.27 Million (decline) and for wireline subscribers were 1.30 Million. While Total Request for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) stands at 7.28 Million. For wireless subscribers, the addition was mostly affected due to second-wave lockdown. Although it gave a boost to wireline subscribers as work and study from home consumers needed reliable and fast connection.
In the Wireless category, Only Jio Added the Most subscribers at 3.5 Million. Other all had a decline Airtel lost 4.6 Million. While Vodafone Idea and BSNL lost 4.2 Million and 0.9 Million respectively. While All telecom saw a decrease in Net Addition or complete loss in subscribers due to the current Second Lockdown situation. While the loss in consumers was mostly due to lockdown and workers going home from urban areas which all affected the addition of subscribers and active recharge consumers. we expect a bounce-back in addition for June because in most places there was less restriction and economic activities were picking up compared to May.
In Total for wireless subscriber Jio have the Most Subscribers at ~431 Million (~36% Market share). While Airtel has 348 Million (~30% Market share). And Vodafone Idea has 278 Million (~24% Market share). And BSNL has 116 Million (~10% Market Share). Although in Active users Airtel has the most active users at 97.99%. At second comes Vodafone Idea at 88.82%. While Jio stands at third with 78.37%. And at last BSNL with 51.31%. BSNL Subscribers are affected due to the current network condition. As BSNL is still under the process of deploying the 4G Network throughout India which is actually Hurting as private players are much ahead as private players are looking at Testing/deploying 5G. If BSNL can make the process much faster and deploy the 4G Network this year itself it might get out of the current struggles. While for Vodafone Idea the AGR liabilities and its debt is affecting its pace of adding and upgrading its 4G Network which is affecting its users in some of its markets.
While the wireline market was full of surprise as BSNL which was losing subscribers drastically added more users with a net addition of 1.12 Million. It’s No surprise it can add this many subscribers because of its extensive network which currently no operator can match because most private player focuses on Urban Area’s while BSNL already has a very extensive network in Both Urban and Rural and it’s also upgrading most of the network to Fiber which is giving huge benefit for both users and operator itself. And the sudden increase was due to BSNL’s introduction of Low price plan Rs 449 (Excluding Tax) unlimited plan which was initially limited to 6 months and Now became the permanent plan. And waiving of installation charges although you have to pay for router still was a huge benefit for consumers and we can certainly see this here. And Now BSNL is again testing a new plan that is Rs 399 which is also for 6 months and if the user addition is high BSNL will make it permanent. While Jio was a distant second with 0.17 Million addition. While Vodafone Idea’s You broadband added 0.017 Million. And Airtel with just 0.004 Million. All other Broadband operators lost subscribers. While most of the private players were certainly affected by lockdown in urban areas. Where private players have most of their network. We can expect to see more Subscribers for BSNL and private players for June because of Less restriction in most of the Areas.
Although in wireline there is addition. There might be a much larger addition because as Now Many Cable TV providers provide Broadband. And with their reach, they are gaining much more users as most big providers don’t have reach other than Main Cities/streets. As these Cable Broadband Numbers are not included. In the real world, there might be many more Added subscribers in wireline subscribers.