The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recently released its subscriber data for January 2023. Total industry-wide active subscribers increased by 3.9 million month over month to 1,025 million, with Bharti Airtel adding approximately 1.3 million wireless subscribers. The number of subscribers of Bharti Airtel Mobile Broadband (MBB) also increased by 2.8 million, and its market share rose to 29.9% on an active basis.
Active subscriber base unaffected by rate increase
According to the ICICI Securities report, the addition of active subscribers of Bharti Airtel has not slowed down despite the rise in boarding rates. Airtel first increased its boarding rates in 2 circles followed by rest of the circles in minimum top up from Rs 99 to Rs 155.
Airtel’s active subscriber base increased by 1.3 million to 366 million, while the number of mobile broadband (MBB) subscribers increased to 232 million in January. In December, MBB’s subscriber base was 229 million. The report said this will contribute to the premiumization of services, benefiting from rural expansion. In addition, this subscriber growth would help support ARPU growth in the absence of a rate hike.
Wired broadband segment
In the fixed broadband subscriber base, Bharti added 0.14 million subscribers and Airtel’s market share rose to 17.7 percent, up 2 Bps month over month.
Bharti Airtel holds 32.3% of the total subscriber market share, with 178 million subscribers in rural areas, equating to a market share of around 34.6% in rural areas. According to the report, Bharti Airtel’s customer churn remains under control, although it is expected to rise in the coming months.