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India’s total internet subscribers up at 604.21 mn in 2018: TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released ‘Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Reports’ for the quarter ending 31st December 31, 2018. 

This Report provides a broad perspective of the Telecom Services in India and presents the key parameters and growth trends of the Telecom Services as well as Cable TV, DTH and Radio Broadcasting services in India for the period covering October 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 compiled mainly on the basis of information furnished by the Service Providers. 

The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,191.40 million at the end of September 2018 to 1,197.87 million at the end of December 2018, registering an increase rate of 0.54 per cent over the previous quarter. This reflects year-on-year (Y-O-Y) increase rate of 0.60 per cent over the same quarter of last year. 

Telephone subscription in Urban areas slightly declined from 666.64 million at the end of Sep-18 to 666.28 million at the end of Dec-18, whereas, Rural telephone subscription increased from 524.76 million at the end of Sep-18 to 531.59 million at the end of Dec-18. 

Out of the total subscription, the share of Rural subscription increased from 44.05per cent at the end of Sep-18 to 44.38 per cent at the end of Dec-18. 

With a net addition of 6.71 million subscribers during the quarter, total wireless (GSM incl. LTE + CDMA) subscriber base increased from 1,169.29 million at the end of Sep-18 to 1,176.00 million at the end of Dec-18, registering a growth rate of 0.57 per cent over the previous quarter. Wireless subscriptions increased year-on-year (Y-O-Y) at the rate of 0.73 per cent during the quarter. 

Wireline subscriber declined from 22.11 million at the end of Sep-18 to 21.87 million at the end of Dec-18 with quarterly decline rate of 1.11per cent. The year-on-year (Y-O-Y) decline rate in wireline subscribers for Dec-18 is 5.88per cent. 

Total number of Internet subscribers increased from 560.01 million at the end of Sep-18 to 604.21 million at the end of Dec-18, registering a quarterly growth rate of 7.89 per cent. Out of 604.21 million internet subscribers, Wired Internet subscribers are 21.42 million and Wireless Internet subscribers are 582.79 million. 

Monthly Average Revenue per User (ARPU) for wireless service increased by 4.07per cent, from `67.39 in QE Sep-18 to `70.13 in QE Dec18. Monthly ARPU for wireless service declined by 11.78 per cent on yearly basis (Y-O-Y) in this quarter. 

Prepaid ARPU per month is Rs 60 and Postpaid ARPU per month is Rs 296 in QE Dec-18. 

On an all India average, the overall MOU per subscriber per month for wireless service increased by 6.37 per cent from 627 for QE Sep-18 to 667 in QE Dec-18. 

Prepaid MOU per subscriber per month is 666 and postpaid MOU per subscriber per month is 711 in QE Dec-18. 

Gross Revenue (GR) and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of Telecom Service Sector for the QE Dec-18 has been Rs 58,991 Crore and Rs 36,054 Crore respectively. GR increased by 2.01 per cent, however AGR declined by 0.24 per cent in QE Dec-18 as compared to previous quarter. 

The year-on-year (Y-O-Y) growth in GR and AGR in QE Dec-18 over the same quarter in last year has been -3.43 per cent and -6.44 per cent respectively. 

A total number of 880 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/ downlinking only/ uplinking and downlinking both, as on 31st December, 2018, the report stated. 

As per the reporting to TRAI, done by broadcaster in pursuance of the Tariff Order (Broadcasting & Cable), dated 3rd March 2017, there are 330 pay channels as on 31st December 2018, which include 231 SD pay TV channels and 99 HD Pay TV channels. 

DTH has attained net pay active subscriber base of around 70.49 million in quarter ending December 31, 2018. This is in addition the subscribers of free DTH services of Doordarshan.

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