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Internet user base rises 3.4% to 743 million, March-end

The number of internet subscribers in India increased to over 743 million at the end of March 2020, clocking a growth rate of 3.4 per cent on a sequential quarter basis, showed Trai data on sector’s quarterly performance.

Reliance Jio led the chart grabbing 52.3 per cent of the overall market share, followed by Bharti Airtel (23.6 per cent share) in the quarter ended March 2020.

Vodafone Idea held the third position as its internet subscriber base market share was at 18.7 per cent, for the period in reference.

“Total number of internet subscribers increased from 718.74 million at the end of December 2019 to 743.19 million at the end of March 2020, registering a quarterly growth rate of 3.40 per cent,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in its report.

In this, the number of wireless internet subscribers stood at 720.7 million (97 per cent share of overall pie) and wired internet subscribers were 22.4 million. A whopping 92.5 per cent of overall internet subscribers used broadband for internet access — the internet subscriber base comprised 687.4 million broadband users and 55.7 million narrowband subscribers.

“The broadband internet subscriber base increased by 3.85 per cent from 661.94 million at the end of December 2019 to 687.44 million at the end of March 2020,” said the Trai report titled ‘Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators, January-March, 2020’. Internet access with a minimum capacity of 512 kilobits per second or more is defined as broadband connectivity, while narrowband refers to net access with lesser speed.

Wireless internet subscribers increased to 720.7 million at the end of March 2020, a quarter-on-quarter growth rate of 3.51 per cent.

“Out of total internet subscribers, 96.90 per cent subscribers are using mobile devices for access of internet service. Wired internet subscribers are only 3.02 per cent in total internet subscribers at the end of March 20,” Trai said.

Of the overall 22.42 million wired internet subscribers, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) held 50.3 per cent market share with 11.27 million subscribers, followed by Bharti Airtel with 2.47 million subscribers.

In wireless internet segment, Reliance Jio held 53.76 per cent market share, followed by Bharti Airtel (24 per cent) of wireless internet subscribers in the quarter ended March 20, it said.

Top five service areas in terms of internet subscriptions (wired and wireless) were Maharashtra (63.01 million), Andhra Pradesh including Telangana (58.65 million), UP (East) (54.60 million), Tamil Nadu including Chennai (51.64 million) and Madhya Pradesh including Chhattisgarh (48.72 million), it said. PTI

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