Total number of Internet subscribers increased in India to 881.25 million at the end of March as compared to 865.90 million in December 2022, registering a quarterly growth rate of 1.77 per cent, TRAI said in the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators January–March 2023 on Monday.

Out of 881.25 million Internet subscribers, number of wired Internet subscribers are 33.94 million and number of wireless Internet subscribers are 847.31 million, it said.

Talking about telephone subscribers in India, the number increased to 1,172.34 million at the end of March this year, as compared to 1,170.38 million in December 2022, registering a growth rate of 0.17 per cent over the previous quarter.

“This reflects year-on-year (YoY) growth rate of 0.46 per cent over the same quarter of the last year. The overall tele-density in India decreased from 84.56 per cent as in the October-December 2022 quarter to 84.51 per cent in the January-March quarter this year,” it said.

ARPU rises

It also said that the monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) for wireless service increased by 0.83 per cent during the quarter to ₹142.32 from ₹141.14 in the December quarter.

Prepaid ARPU per month increased to ₹.139.63 in the quarter in review as against ₹137.71 in the previous quarter. However, postpaid ARPU per month decreased to ₹173.50 during the quarter as against ₹182.30 in the previous quarter.

Reliance Jio is the market leader with 37.48 per cent in the access segment in terms of number of subscribers with 439.35 million subscribers at the end of March followed by Bharti Airtel with 378.06 million subscribers, TRAI said.

Net addition

In term of net addition, Jio became the biggest gainer with net addition of 6.43 million telephone subscribers during the quarter in review, it said, adding that Vodafone Idea is the telecom service provider with highest proportion of rural telephone subscribers of 48.59 per cent followed by Airtel of 47.56 per cent to their total telephone subscribers at the end of March.

In terms of wireless subscribers also, Jio is the market leader with a subscriber base of 430.23 million which translates into market share of 37.61 per cent. Airtel is at second position with a total subscriber base of 370.91 million and market share of 32.42 per cent. In terms of net additions during March quarter, except Jio and Airtel, all service providers have showed negative growth in their wireless subscribers.