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India’s active wireless subscriber base shrinks by 7 miillion, CRISIL

As per the April statistics of ‘Indian wireless/wireline telephony: April data insights’ by CRISIL Research states that the country’s active wireless subscriber base shrank by 7 million.

According to the research agency, the shrinking in the number of users is primarily due to SIM consolidation. At the same time, India’s total wireless subscriber base increased by just 0.6 million on-month in April.

Commenting on the issue, CRISIL Research Director Aniket Dani said the impact of tariff hike and inflation has forced subscribers to rationalise expenses.

Urban teledensity
“The impact was visible on urban teledensity, which fell 30 basis points (bps) in April as subscribers ditched their extra SIM cards. Rural teledensity, however, improved marginally, by 9 bps. The impact of increase in repo rate needs to be monitored as urban teledensity could fall further in the first half of this fiscal, with subscribers in some pockets feeling the heat,” said CRISIL Research Director Aniket Dani.

He also said on active leadership across circles, Reliance Jio caught up with Bharti Airtel, with both players leading 10 circles each as of April (at the end of March, Reliance Jio led 9 circles, while Bharti airtel led 11).

“The competition is expected to remain intense this fiscal, with both players anticipated to focus on semi-urban and rural dominated circles,” said CRISIL Research Director Aniket Dani.

Development
The wireline segment, which has caught the eye of players of late, added another ~0.3 million subscribers in April. Interest in the segment has revived among private telcos amid the pandemic.

CRISIL Research Director Aniket Dani also said the share of public enterprises in wireline telephony fell 91 bps to 41% in April over March.

“More importantly, a strong shift is underway as public enterprises, which accounted for ~59% of the subscriber base as of fiscal 2020, had lost more than 17% subscriber market share to private telcos as of fiscal 2022,” said CRISIL Research Director Aniket Dani.

The Crisil Research also states that bundled offerings such as affordable broadband are the major reasons for the gain in the market share of wireline telephony. Wireline broadband subscriber base has logged a compound annual growth rate of 19% between fiscals 2020 and 2022 to 27.25 million.”

“Competition is intensifying in the wireline segment with Reliance Jio clocking the highest subscriber additions over the past two years. Bharti Airtel continues to lead in terms of wireline subscribers, followed by Reliance Jio,” said CRISIL Research Director Aniket Dani

As the report, this fiscal, the wired broadband subscriber base is expected to grow 9-12%. Telcos have sharpened focus on the growing wired broadband segment, which offers a huge potential as the country remains highly underpenetrated, at only 9% penetration as of last fiscal, compared with over 55% in China, over 70% in the Eurozone, and over 75% each in the US and Japan. The NFA Post

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