The telecommunications sector in India has consistently proven to be one of the most dynamic and influential industries in the country’s market landscape. As of January 2023, India proudly holds the distinction of being the world’s second-largest telecommunications market, boasting a substantial subscriber base of 1,170.75 million. This remarkable growth reflects a robust expansion over the past decade.
India’s overall wireless internet data usage has witnessed a meteoric rise, increasing nearly sevenfold from around 4,200 petabytes in 2018 to a staggering 32,397 petabytes in 2021. This phenomenal growth underscores India’s position as one of the world’s largest consumers of data.
To put this into perspective, the average wireless data usage per subscriber, as reported by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), reached 17.11 GB per month in December 2022, marking a significant leap from a mere 61.66 MB in March 2014. This data revolution signifies the evolving digital landscape in India, with an increasing number of users relying on mobile data for various online activities, from communication to entertainment and productivity.
In terms of market share, Reliance Jio (Jio) takes the lead with a substantial 35.15%, closely followed by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL, holding 31.38%, 22.40%, and 10.39%, respectively.
In the month of July, Vodafone Idea (VIL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) faced a decline in their customer base, losing approximately 13.22 lakh and 14.01 lakh subscribers, respectively, according to TRAI. In stark contrast, Reliance Jio (Jio) managed to secure the top spot by adding an impressive 39.07 lakh wireless subscribers during the same month. Bharti Airtel, the second-largest telecom operator, also experienced growth by adding 15.17 lakh subscribers in July.
Turning to wireline subscribers, Jio reached a significant milestone by surpassing the one-crore mark in July, boasting 1,01,48,995 subscribers compared to 99,51,866 customers at the end of June. The total wireline subscriber count in India increased from 30.31 million in June to 30.61 million in July, marking a net increase of 0.29 million and a monthly growth rate of 0.96 percent. Consequently, the overall wireline tele-density reached 2.20 percent by the end of July, up from 2.18 percent in June.
In the wireless segment, the total number of subscribers reached 1,146.25 million by the end of July, compared to 1,143.58 million at the end of June, reflecting a monthly growth rate of 0.23 percent, as reported by TRAI. Of this total, 1046.41 million wireless subscribers were active on the date of peak VLR (Visitor Location Register) in July, accounting for approximately 91.29 percent of the total wireless subscriber base.
TRAI also emphasized that private access service providers dominated the wireless subscribers’ market share, holding a commanding 91.26 percent, while the two public sector undertakings (PSUs), BSNL and MTNL, collectively held a market share of only 8.74 percent.
Furthermore, the report shed light on the fact that during the month, 11.77 million subscribers submitted requests for mobile number portability (MNP), bringing the cumulative MNP requests to 864.76 million since the implementation of MNP.
Overall, India witnessed a growth in telephone subscribers, with the total number increasing from 1,173.89 million at the end of June to 1,176.85 million at the end of July. This represents a monthly growth rate of 0.25 percent. Urban and rural telephone subscriptions also saw increases during this period.
The dynamic shifts in the telecom sector underline the competitive nature of the industry and the evolving preferences of Indian consumers for wireless services. This data provides valuable insights into the trends and competition within the Indian telecom market.
Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.