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Atria in race to become India’s 3rd largest wired broadband player, narrows gap with MTNL

MUMBAI: Atria Convergence Technologies, which is backed by private equity firms India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA) and TA Associates, has begun its chase to overtake state-owned major MTNL and become the country’s third-largest wired broadband service provider.

The broadband and cable TV service provider has narrowed the gap between the third and fourth largest player. As on 31 July, Atria had 1.05 million wired broadband subscribers compared to MTNL’s 1.08 million.

MTNL has actually seen a drop in wired broadband subscribers in July while Atria has added 0.03 million customers in a month. As on 30 June 2016, MTNL had 1.10 million wired broadband subscribers compared to Atria’s base of 1.02 million.

“MTNL has lost 0.02 million wired broadband subscribers in a month. Atria, on the other hand, has gone on to add subscribers. The gap between the two is narrowing,” a media analyst said.

Bala MalladiFor Atria chief executive officer Bala Malladi, the momentum to add subscribers at a fast pace is continuing. He believes that Atria will be able to cross past MTNL in the next few months, which will keep the Bengaluru-based company behind only state-owned behemoth BSNL and private telecom operator Bharti Airtel in the race.

The number of broadband subscribers increased 4.48% to 166.96 million at the end of July from 159.80 million at the end of June, as per reports received from the service providers.

Atria’s next target is Bharti Airtel. As on 31 July, the top five wired broadband service providers were BSNL (9.86 million), Bharti Airtel (1.88 million), MTNL (1.08 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (1.05 million) and You Broadband (0.57 million).

According to Malladi, Atria is currently posting 30,000 net additions per month. “We will run ahead of MTNL soon. We have the ambitious plan to touch two million broadband subscribers within 30 months with best-in-class customer service and state-of-the-art fibre product,” he says.

Leading the charge, Malladi expanded Atria’s footprint to five new cities in the last two years. They are Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Eluru, potential high-growth broadband cities in south India.

“We may add one or two cities in the next 30 months. But our main strategy will be to deepen our presence in the existing cities,” says Malladi.

The top five wireless broadband service providers were Bharti Airtel (42.53 million), Vodafone (33.36 million), Idea Cellular (28.19 million), Reliance Communications Group (14.63 million) and BSNL (11.07 million).

The top five service providers constituted 84.83% market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of July. These service providers were Bharti Airtel (44.41 million), Vodafone (33.36 million), Idea Cellular (28.19 million), BSNL (20.92 million) and Reliance Communications Group (14.74 million).

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