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Active and MBB subs bounce back from lows of Apr’22, ICICI Securities

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its monthly data on subscribers (subs) for May’22. Industry active sub base improved by 3.9mn MoM (vs dip of 7.8mn in Apr’22) with Bharti Airtel’s (Bharti) net add at 2.2mn (vs dip of 3.1mn in Apr’22). Reliance Jio (RJio) net add was healthy at 4.5mn in May’22. VIL saw active sub dip 2.3mn, which remains a key concern. Industry-wide mobile broadband (MBB) subs net add improved to 5.7mn (from flattish in Apr’22). Bharti’s MBB sub rose 1.9mn, and market share was flat at 28.7% on active basis, while RJio’s rose 11bps to 51.8%. VIL had net add of 1.2mn MBB subs. MNP was stable at 8.0mn with churn rate at 0.7% (vs 0.7% in Apr’22). Wired broadband sub net add was steady for RJio at 0.26mn and for Bharti at 0.11mn.

Industry active sub base rose 3.9mn

  • Industry active sub base rose 3.9mn to 1,018mn (up 0.4% MoM and 3.2% YoY).
  • RJio’s active sub base rose 4.5mn (average +3.4mn in past six month) to 383mn in May’22. Total subs rose 3.1mn, while it has dipped on an average 3.5mn in the past six months, which means the company has largely completed cleaning up of subs base.
  • Bharti’s active sub base rose 2.2mn (compared to dip of 3.1mn in Apr’22) to 355mn. Its total sub base increased 1.0mn.
  • VIL’s active subs dipped 2.3mn (average down 2mn in the past six months) to 220mn in May’22. Total subs reduced by 0.8mn.
  • RJio’s active sub market share rose by 30bps to 37.7% MoM, while Bharti’s stood at 34.9% (up 8bps MoM) and VIL’s fell 31bps MoM to 21.6%. RJio continues to expand its lead in active sub market share.

Industry MBB (mobile broadband) subs rose 5.7mn

  • Industry-wide MBB subs stood at 766mn, up 5.7mn, in May’22 (up 0.8% MoM / 1.1% YoY). This is sluggish since the past few quarters on lower smartphone sales and decline for RJio.
  • Bharti’s MBB subs base rose 1.9mn to 212mn in this category which should slow the benefit of premiumisation on ARPU. However, it is much better than 0.3mn decline for Apr’22.
  • RJio’s MBB sub base rose 3.1mn to 409mn. Adjusted for inactive subs, its MBB market share stood at 51.8% (up 11bps MoM), while Bharti’s was 28.7% (flattish MoM) and VIL’s was 16.7% (flattish MoM).
  • VIL’s MBB sub base rose 1.2mn to 123mn, again, better than 0.4mn dip in Apr’22.
  • Wired broadband sub net add steady for Bharti/ RJio
  • Wired broadband sub base rose 1.0% MoM to 28.1mn (up 23.6% YoY) in May’22. Bharti added 0.11mn subs (vs 0.11mn in past six month), and RJio added 0.26mn (vs 0.25mn in the past six months). Subs dipped 0.12mn to 12.5mn for other operators.
  • RJio’s market share rose to 21.0% (+73bps MoM), and Bharti’s was 16.9% (up 23bps MoM). BSNL’s subs rose 0.02mn; its market share was down 6bps MoM to 13.6%.

Industry MNP churn rate stable at 0.7%

  • Industry porting was 8.0mn in May’22. MNP churn rate was 0.7% (vs 0.7% in Apr’22).

For report –

CT Bureau

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