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Gross/Active subscribers continue to decline, 4G adds moderate

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released subscriber data for Nov’22. Below are the key highlights:

  • The industry-wide gross subscriber base continued to decline by 0.6m in Nov’22 (v/s 1.8m decline in Oct’22) to 1,143m, mainly due to a continued drop in IDEA’s subscriber base.
  • The active subscriber base too declined by 0.5m MoM (v/s 1.1m decline in Oct’22) to 1,012m, dragged down by a fall in RJio and IDEA. The consistent decline in both active and gross subscribers for the last three months indicates the continuation of SIM consolidation in the industry. RJio/VIL witnessed a decline of 3m/2m subscribers MoM, whereas Bharti saw 1m MoM adds.
  • Mobile number portability (MNP): The cumulative requests for MNP have been consistently increasing, particularly in the last 3-4 months validated by higher churn numbers reported by telecos, suggesting SIM consolidation. MNP requests registered in Nov’22 were 12m (v/s 11.8m in Oct’22), representing 1.2% of total active subscribers, which is much higher than 0.7% in Nov’21.
  • 4G subscribers: Industry-wide 4G subscriber adds slowed to 3.4m in Nov’22 (v/s 5.1m adds in Oct’22) from the peak of 15m adds in the last one year, taking the total subscriber count to 792m. RJio and Bharti added 1.4m/2.2m subscribers MoM, while IDEA added 0.3m subscribers.
  • Bharti stood out during the month, though it reported slower numbers (but better than other players). Bharti added 1.1m/1m gross/active subscribers in Nov’22 v/s a 0.8m adds/1m decline in Oct’22, with active market share increasing by 20bp to 35.5%. Incremental 4G additions remained the highest in the industry at 55% as it added 2.2m subscribers (v/s 3m in Oct’22), taking its total 4G subscriber count to 225m.
  • RJio added 1.4m gross subscribers in Nov’22 (v/s 1.4m in Oct’22). Active subscribers declined by 3m MoM (v/s high adds of 4.9m in Oct’22), due to a 30bp drop in market share to 38.3% (though highest in the industry). 4G subscriber adds were flat at 1.4m on MoM basis (v/s 1.4m add in Oct’22); the peak was seen last year with 7m adds in Jul’21.
  • IDEA continued to witness a 1.8m/2.0m MoM decline in gross/active subscribers (v/s a decline of 3.5m/0.5m in Oct’22) to 244m/210m. Its 4G subscriber base remained flat at 124m in Nov’22 with a 15.6% 4G market share.
  • Wired broadband subscribers for the industry continued to grow at 0.5m MoM to 31.8m. RJio/Bharti added 260k/150k subscribers MoM (v/s 290k/140k adds in Oct’22), while BSNL’s net subscriber additions were 70k.

For report,

CT Bureau

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