The number of internet subscribers in India surged to over 743 Mn at the end of March 2020, making the growth of 3.4% on a sequential quarter basis.
According to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Reliance Jio topped the chart with the largest portion of the market share (52.3%) followed by Bharti Airtel (23.6%) and Vodafone Idea (VI) (18.7%) in the quarter ended March 2020.
In February, Jio and Bharti Airtel, added 6.25 Mn and 0.85 Mn customers respectively, even as VI lost 3.46 Mn of its customers.
“Total number of internet subscribers increased from 718.74 Mn at the end of December 2019 to 743.19 million at the end of March 2020, registering a quarterly growth rate of 3.40%,” the regulator said in its report.
In terms of wireless internet subscribers, the number stood at 720.7 Mn (97% share of overall pie) and wired internet subscribers were 22.4 Mn. A whopping 92.5% of overall internet subscribers used broadband for internet access — the internet subscriber base comprised.
“The broadband internet subscriber base increased by 3.85% from 661.94 Mn at the end of December 2019 to 687.44Mn at the end of March 2020,” said the TRAI report.
Reliance Jio led the charts again (53.76%) followed by Bharti Airtel (24%) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) (50.3%).
Meanwhile, the number of internet users in India has been on a spike since Covid-19 began spreading across the country in mid-March. This created a spurt in demand for home broadband installations. “It was close to 3x times the normal demand,” said Vivek Raina, CEO of Excitel Broadband, which offers high-speed broadband services in Delhi NCR, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Lucknow, speaking to Inc42 for an earlier story.
How ISPs Are Keeping India Online
As per TestMy.Net, it revealed that ACT offered the highest download and upload speed (40 Mbps), followed by Tata Sky Broadband and Airtel. On the flipside, MTNL, Jio, BSNL and Vodafone offer the least internet speed (>10 Mbps).
As a measure to ensure uninterrupted internet access, recently Bharti Airtel has urged its arch-rivals Reliance Jio, VI, and state-owned BSNL and MTNL to come together and help people to get wide coverage of 2G, 3G and 4G services.