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Telecom subscriber base flattish for 9 months, Motilal Oswal

The industry-wide gross subscriber base among telecom companies has increased by around 2.7 million month-on-month to 1,146 million in June 2023, according to latest TRAI data.

According to a Motilal Oswal report, the growth in gross subscriber base has been flattish for the last nine months. Vodafone India Limited lost 1.3 million subscribers, Reliance Jio gained 3.9 million and Bharti Airtel gained 1.5 million subscribers.

On the other hand, the industry’s active subscriber additions picked up again to 3.6 million month-on-month to 1,046 million after a drop in June 2023 with an average growth rate of 5.2 million per month over the last six months.

Growth in rural subscribers
Rural subscribers for July 2023 rose 0.2 million month-on-month to 517.7 million. Reliance Jio lead the rural market with a 37.6 percent market share, up by 40 basis points from June 2023. In July, they added 2 million subscribers, as against the 1.1 million added in June 2023.

Other players like Bharti, VIL and BSNL lost 0.5 million, 0.7 million and 0.6 million subscribers. In terms of market share, Bharti was at 34.9 percent (down 20 bps month-on-month) and VIL was 21.5 percent (down
10bps month-on-month).

Reliance Jio gains
Overall, according to the Motilal Oswal report, Reliance Jio continued to stand out. For June 2023, it saw additions in gross subscribers (3.9 million) and active subscribers (1.4m month-on-month), maintaining an active market share of 39.7 percent. This is the highest in the industry). 4G subscriber additions stood at 3.9 million in July 2023, against 2.3 million in June 2023.

Bharti continued to add gross (1.5 million) and active (3.2m) subscribers, against 1.4 million and 0.1m, respectively in June 2023. This has led to an increase in market share by 20 basis points to 35.9 percent. As of July 2023, 4G subscriber additions stood at 2.9 million against 1.3 million in June 2023) taking its total 4G subscriber base to 244 million.

While Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio saw growth, Idea continued to witness churn. For July 2023, Idea saw a decline in gross subscribers (1.3 million) and active subscribers (0.4 million) in July 2023. Moreover, its
4G subscriber base declined 0.6 million month-on-month and 4G
market share dropped 20 bps to 14.9 percent. According to Motilal Oswal, its 4G subscriber count has been flat for the last nine months.

Gains in broadband market
In July 2023, Jio was the leader with a 3.9 million month-on-month growth, while Bharti Airtel added 2.9 million subscribers. VIL’s subscribers were down 0.6 million month-on-month. According to an Emkay Global Report, This is the fifth successive month that Jio has added more wireless broadband subscribers than Bharti which maintained the second position.

Stock performance
Over the last six months, when it comes to listed telecom companies, shares of Bharti Airtel have gained 23.77 percent. On September 29, the shares closed at Rs 927. Vodafone Idea Limited gained 102.59 percent. The shares closed at Rs 11.75. Moneycontrol

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