Internet growth in India up 7% in FY '23: TRAI

The total broadband subscriber base of the country as on 31 March, 2023, is nearly 847 million

by Sohini Ganguly
Published - February 21, 2024
2 minute To Read
Internet growth in India up 7% in FY '23: TRAI

According to the latest TRAI annual report, the Internet subscriber base in the country as on 31 March, 2023, stood at 881.255 million as compared to 824.888 million as on 31 March, 2022, posting a 6.8% growth this year. The distribution between wireless and wireline subscribers comes to 847.31 million and 33.94 million, respectively.

The total broadband subscriber base of the country as on 31 March, 2023, is 846.569 million, whereas it was 788.295 million on 31 March, 2022. Narrowband subscriber base stood at 34.68 million in 2023 as opposed to 36.59 million in 2022, witnessing a 5% decline.

The growth can likely be attributed to the increase in 5G adoption in the country. The 2022-23 numbers are in stark contrast to what happened in 2021-22. Nearly 0.5 million (5 lakh subscribers) had fallen off the internet between 2021-22, a year which was marked by COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown resulting in massive job losses.

The degrowth in 2022 was recorded in both broadband and narrowband segments. The narrowband decline was gradual throughout FY22. But in the case of broadband, the March 22 quarter was particularly bad as the number of internet subscribers fell from 792 million to 788.2 million.

However, the growth this year can be a little surprising too, considering India’s smartphone market remained flat YoY, according to International Data Corporation ’s (IDC). TheTRAIreport showed that July and August registered single-digit growth as the channels started early festive stocking, but September had its lowest shipments since 2019, as tapered demand and high prices restricted growth.

“A swift uptake in affordable 5G smartphone shipments signals bullish sentiments and success of affordability efforts of the vendors. We should expect the previous generation of premium smartphone models to be in high demand this festive season, made affordable by various offers and upfront discounts across channels,” said Upasana Joshi, Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India in a statement.

The TRAI annual reportalsopointed towards degrowth of 1.5% in FY 2022-2023 in the Indian television industry, reaching a total revenue of Rs 70,900 crore as compared to Rs 72,000 crore in FY 2021-2022, according to the annual report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for the year 2022-23. The report was presented to the Lok Sabha on December 20, 2023 and Rajya Sabha on February 9, 2024.