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TRAI slams media reports linking drop in subscriber count to price hike

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued a statement addressing the claims made in several newspaper reports that there has been a 25% drop in active subscriber base of DTH services from 72.44 million to 54.26 million between June 30 and March 31. Additionally, these reports link the drop-in subscriber count with the increase in tariffs on TV channels after the implementation of the new tariff regime.

The regulatory authority claims that the conclusion derived in media reports are inaccurate. It stated that DTH operators were reporting subscriber base which also includes number of temporarily suspended subscribers which have not been active for more than 120 days. Hence the data from the repots is incomparable.

However, TRAI did agree that there has been a marginal drop in subscriber count due to closure of Independent TV.

Explaining how the data for subscriber base is procured, TRAI says, “Subscribers of DTH services can be collected many ways such as (a) Average active subscriber in a given month (b) Subscribers including those who have not been inactive or temporarily suspended for more than 120 days (c) Subscribers including those who have not been inactive or temporarily suspended for more than 90 days (c) Total registered subscriber from the date DTH operator started its operation. In fact, till last quarter i.e. up to March 2019, the DTH Operators were reporting (a) subscriber base which also includes subscribers who have not been inactive or temporarily suspended for more 120 days and (b) total registered subscriber from the date DTH operator started its operation due to the prevailing regulatory framework.”

Furthermore, TRAI has announced that to bring transparency to the sector, it will begin collecting information about monthly active subscribers directly from DTH operators and publish it monthly.

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