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ICRA: Wireless Subscriber Base Increases By 10.6 Million Led By Healthy Subscriber Addition By RJio; Wireless Broadband Subscriber Base Maintains Strong Growth Momentum

The wireless subscriber base in the country increased to 1,157.0 million in July 2018, witnessing an addition of 10.6 million subscribers over the previous month. Growth thrust was also witnessed in active wireless subscribers as well which grew by 5.4 million in the month, taking the aggregate to 1,006.3 million. In another positive for the industry, the wireless broadband subscriber base too continued on its strong growth trajectory, witnessing a growth of 3% during the month of July 2018.

Elaborates Mr. Harsh Jagnani, Sector Head & Vice President- Corporate Ratings, ICRA, “The growth in subscriber base in July has been primarily led by RJio, which added 11.8 million subscribers in July 2018. This is the highest monthly subscriber addition reported by RJio since February 2017, thus consolidating its position in the industry. Other major telcos including Bharti, Vodafone and BSNL/MTNL have reported marginal additions to their subscriber base in July 2018. In line with increase in total subscriber base, the active subscriber base has also witnessed addition of 5.4 million users. While the active subscriber base is lower than what it was one year ago – then at 1023 million but importantly, the industry is now growing organically, with complete pruning of subscribers of discontinuing telcos.”

On gross basis, Vodafone-Idea leads the market with a subscriber market share of 38%, followed by Bharti at 30% and RJio at 20%. On active subscriber basis, Vodafone-Idea market share stands at 41%, followed by Bharti at 34% and RJio at 19% as of July 2018. Overall, these top three telcos together have subscriber base of 1,015.9 million, strengthening their combined market share to 87.8% as of July 2018 as against 87.5% as of June 2018. In terms of active subscribers as well, the top three telcos hold 938.9 million active subscribers or 93.3% market share as of July 2018.

As per ICRA, another positive for the industry has been the fact that the wireless broadband subscriber base has maintained its strong growth trajectory, increasing to 442.3 million in July 2018, witnessing addition of 13.1 million subscribers during July. “Similar to the growth in wireless telephony segment, the growth in wireless broadband segment has also been led by RJio, which added 11.8 million broadband subscribers in July 2018. RJio now accounts for over 51% of wireless broadband subscribers in the country” said Mr. Jagnani. – CT Bureau

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