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Telecom: Subscriber base addition moderates in 4G

RJio leads in both wireless/wired broadband subscriber additions.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released the subscriber data for Apr’24.

The key highlights are as follows:

Active subscriber base flat:

  • The industry’s gross subscriber additions stood at 1.5m MoM (vs. +0.8m in Mar’24), taking the total base to 1,167m. The additions were continued to be driven by RJio and Bharti, which added 2.7m and 0.8m subscribers MoM, respectively, while VIL lost 0.7m subscribers MoM (vs. 0.7m loss in Mar’24).
  • The active subscriber base was flat MoM at 1,058m (vs. 5.6m additions in Mar’24). For the last six months, average additions stood at 2.0m per month. RJio continued to gain 3.1m subscribers, while Bharti/VIL lost 2.1m/0.6m subscribers (vs. +2.8m /- 0.6m in Mar’24).
  • The industry’s rural subscriber base grew 2.4m MoM (vs. +2.5m in Mar’24) to 533m, led by RJio/Bharti, which added 1.3m/1.6m subs. VIL also added 0.1m rural subscribers (vs. -0.3m in Mar’24). RJio continued to lead in rural markets with a 39.1% share (+10bp MoM), followed by Bharti at 35.6% (+10bp MoM) and VIL at 20.1% (-10bp MoM).
  • The industry’s 4G subscriber additions moderated to 3.8m MoM (vs. +6.8m in Mar’24 and average 6.0m additions per month over the last six months), taking the total base to 887m (84% of active subscribers). RJio/Bharti added 2.7m/2.1m, while VIL lost 1.3m MoM (vs. +1.1m additions in Mar’24).
  • Mobile number portability (MNP): Total MNP requests have been consistently increasing validated by a higher churn and SIM consolidation numbers. The number of MNP requests in Apr’24 stood at 11.1m (vs. 11.4m in Mar’24), representing 1.0% of the total active subscribers.
  • Bharti’s subscriber additions moderated to 0.8m/-2.1m gross/active sub to 0.8m/-2.1m gross/active subscribers (vs. +1.8m/+2.8m in Mar’24 and average +1.3m/+1.5m gross/active additions per month in the last six months). Its active market share contracted 20bp MoM to 36.2%. The company added 2.1m subscribers (vs. +3.5m in Mar’24), taking its total 4G subscriber base to 268m (69% of gross subscribers).
  • RJio maintained its top position, with gross/active subscriber additions of 2.7m/3.1m MoM (vs. 2.1m/3.6m in Mar’24). Its active market share improved 30bp to 41% (the highest in the industry). The 4G subscriber additions stood at 2.7m MoM (vs. +2.1m in Mar’24) to reach 472m.
  • · VIL continued to lose subscribers, with 0.7m/0.6m MoM decline in gross/ active subscribers (vs. -0.7m/-0.6m in Mar’24). Its active market share dipped to 18.3% (-10bp MoM). The 4G subscriber base grew 2.1m MoM (vs. +3.5m in Mar’24) to 126m (58% of gross subscribers).
  • · Wired broadband subscribers for the industry increased 0.65m MoM to 40.7m (vs. +0.6m in Mar’24), led by RJio/Bharti, which added 350k/120k subscribers MoM (same in Mar’24). RJio is aggressively rolling out JioAirFiber, which could be aiding the growth. BSNL’s net subscribers increased 90k MoM (vs. +80k in Mar’24).

CT Bureau

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