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SIM consolidation and market share shift continue, Motilal Oswal

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released subscriber data for Feb’23. Below are the key highlights:

  • The industry-wide gross subscriber base decreased by 1.1m MoM in Feb’23 to 1,142m (consistently falling for the last five months), mainly due to a continued drop in IDEA’s subscriber base.
  • Surprisingly, despite weak gross subscriber adds, active subscribers increased by 2.8m MoM to 1,028m (v/s 3.9m increase in Jan’23). Bharti/RJio added 0.8m/3.2m subscribers MoM, whereas VIL lost 0.8m subscribers MoM.
  • Mobile number portability (MNP): Total requests for MNP have been consistently increasing, particularly in the last six months, validated by a higher churn and SIM consolidation. MNP requests in Feb’23 stood at 11.2m (v/s 12.4m in Jan’23), representing 1.1% of total active subscribers (v/s 0.9% in Feb’22).
  • 4G subscribers: The pace of industry-wide 4G subscriber adds slowed to 0.5m (v/s 6.2m in Jan’23), after a strong add of 5m per month in the last nine months. The total subscriber count stood at 805m. Bharti/RJio continued to add 2.2m/1m subscribers. IDEA lost 1.3m subscribers after an average increase of 0.3m per month for the last six months.
  • Bharti added 1m/0.8m gross/active subscribers (v/s 1.3m each in Jan’23), maintaining its active market share at 35.7%. Incremental 4G additions remained the highest in the industry as it added 2.2m subscribers (v/s 2.8m in Jan’23), taking its total 4G subscriber count to 234m.
  • RJio stood out in Feb’23 with the addition of 1m/3.2m gross/active subscribers MoM (v/s 1.7m/3.5m in Jan’23), gaining the market share by 20bp to 38.7% (highest in the industry). 4G subscriber adds stood at 1m MoM (v/s 1.7m adds in Jan’23); the peak was seen last year with 7m adds in Jul’21.
  • IDEA continued to witness a 2m/0.8m MoM decline in gross/active subscribers (v/s a decline of 1.4m/0.5m in Jan’23) to 238m/208m. Even its 4G subscriber base decreased by 1.3m in Feb’23 (v/s average increase of 0.3m subscribers in the last six month) to 124m, with a 15.4% 4G market share.
  • Wired broadband subscribers for the industry declined by 300k MoM to 32.8m. RJio/Bharti added 180k/130k subscribers MoM (v/s 190k/140k adds in Jan’23). BSNL’s net subscriber base declined by 640k (v/s 70k adds in Jan’23).

For report,

CT Bureau

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