Internet users in India: India witnessed a sequential quarterly growth of 3.4% in the number of internet subscribers in the country at the end of March 2020, when India saw the user base increase to 74.3 crore, as per the quarterly sector performance data of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). As far as the overall market share is concerned, Reliance Jio topped the chart with a share of 52.3%. It was followed by Airtel, which had a market share of 23.6% at the end of March 2020, and Vodafone Idea with a share of 18.7%.
In its report, TRAI said that the total number of subscribers at the end of December 2019 stood at 71.84 crore, which increased to 74.319 crore by quarter ended March 2020.
Among this, 97% of the users were wireless internet subscribers, standing at 72.07 crore and wired internet subscribers were 2.24 crore. Meanwhile, broadband for access to the internet was used by 92.5% or 68.74 crore subscribers. On the other hand, narrowband users stood at 5.57 crore users.
TRAI, in its report, further stated that the increase in subscriber base of broadband services was 3.85% on a quarterly basis, going from 66.194 crore in December last year to 68.74 crore in March 2020. Broadband connectivity is internet access having a minimum capacity of 512 kilobits a second, and capacity lesser than that is known as narrowband connectivity. Meanwhile, wireless internet subscribers clocked an increase of 3.51% in the quarter, with TRAI stating that 96.9% subscribers used mobile devices for accessing the internet, while only 3.02% using wired internet in the period.
Moreover, among the 2.242 crore wired internet subscribers, state-owned BSNL accounted for a market share of 50.3% (1.127 crore subscribers), and Bharti Airtel stood second at 24.7 lakh subscribers. Wireless internet segment, on the other hand, saw Reliance Jio as the majority holder in market share, with 53.76% of the subscribers. In this segment as well, Bharti Airtel stood second, holding a share of 24%.
In terms of top five service areas for wireless as well as wired internet subscriptions, Maharashtra topped the list with 6.3 crore, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana combined with 5.87 crore, UP East with 5.46 crore, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai circle) with 5.16 crore and Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh combined with 4.87 crore subscriptions.