The total number of dialup connections in India stood at 25.33 million as of December 31, 2012, up 5.49% from 24.01 million at the end of September 2012, according to the latest numbers from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

At the end of December 2012, the number of broadband subscribers was at 14.98 million, up 2.02% from 14.68 million in September 2012 and registering a 12.22% growth year-on-year (YoY). However, the share of broadband connections in the total number of connections has decreased to 59.15% in December 2012, down from 61.16% in September 2012.

Top 5 ISPs 2012

Some observations

  • It is worth noting that while MTNL and Bharti Airtel have had insignificant growth between September and December 2012, BSNL and Reliance Communications have recorded an increase in the total number of dialup connections between September and December 2012.
  • Only Hathway Cable has registered a decrease in the total number of Internet connections for the quarter ending December 2012.
  • BSNL has the highest number of broadband connections for the quarter ending December 2012, with 9.90 million connections. It has a significant margin over other Internet service providers with the nearest being Airtel with 1.39 million connections.
  • Reliance Communications is the only ISP among the top 5 ISPs that has more number of narrow band/dialup connections than broadband connections. The dialup/narrow band connections increased to 6.06 million for December 2012, up from 3.39 million connections in September 2012, while its broadband connections has decreased to 0.17 million connections in December 2012, down from 0.19 million connections in September 2012. This also probably contributed to the decline in the broadband connections share in the total number of Internet connections.
  • You Broadband & Cable India Pvt Ltd has the fifth highest number of broadband connections in the country apart from having the sixth highest number of dialup connections. It is worth noting that You Broadband which was among the top 5 ISPs with respect to total number of connections at the end of December 2011, has dropped to the sixth place in December 2012.

Market Share of Top ISPs

market share dec 2012

market share dec 2011

  • Among Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as of December 31, 2012, BSNL has the highest market share of 51.69% with 13.09 millions connections, followed by Reliance Communications which has a market share of 24.63% with 6.24 million connections. MTNL has a market share of 7.68% with 1.94 million connections, while Bharti Airtel owns 5.50% market share with 1.39 million connections and Hathway Cable & Datacom has 1.45% market share with 0.36 million connections.
  •  The top 10 ISPs account for 95.42% share of the dialup connections as of December 2012, up from 95.04% in December 2011, while other ISPs account for only 4.58% share of the Internet connections, down from 4.96% in December 2011.
  • Although there hasn’t been significant changes in the overall market share owned by the top 10 ISPs, some of the top service providers have seen significant changes. BSNL saw a drop in the market share to 51.69% in December 2012, down from 54. 97% in December 2011. Similarly, MTNL, Airtel and You Broadband have also seen drop in market share in December 2012.
  • Reliance Communications is the only operator that saw a rise in its market share to 24.63% in December 2012, up from 15.97% in December 2011.

Subscriber wise market share 2011 - 2012

  • Between December 2011 and December 2012, the top 10 ISPs saw an increase of 2.89% in the total number of dialup connections while other ISPs collectively saw only a 0.05% increase, indicating a clear domination of the market by the top 10 ISPs.

Related Developments

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has launched a video telephony service on broadband in Delhi and Mumbai in partnership with Ahmedabad based ICT solutions provider Sai Infosystem (India) Limited and can be availed over existing MTNL connections to make high quality video calls through MTNL’s landline or Fibre network.

In January 2013, more than 500 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) had surrendered their ISP licenses to the government and exited the business owing to poor government policies for ISPs. In the same month, TRAI had also announced that ISPs will be penalised for not be Quality of Service parameters. ISPs will be charged Rs 50,000 per parameter in the first instance and Rs 100,000 per parameter for subsequent contraventions.