India’s broadcast and telecom regulator TRAI yesterday said that pay DTH services had a cumulative active subscriber base of around 66.62 million in QE December 31, 2022. This is in addition to the customers of Doordarshan’s free-to-air DTH platform, FreeDish.
“Since the introduction of DTH sector in the year 2003, Indian DTH services have displayed phenomenal growth. During the QE 31st December 2022, there were four pay DTH service providers (Tata Play, Airtel DTH, Dish TV/D2h and Sun Direct) in the country,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in its performance indicator report for the quarter October-December 2022 that was released yesterday.
It said that a total of approximately 903 private satellite TV channels were permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking only/both uplinking and downlinking during the period.
As per the reporting done by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order dated March 3, 2017 and further amended, out of 892 permitted satellite TV channels, which are available for downlinking in India, there are 357 satellite pay TV channels. Out of the 357 pay TV channels, 254 were SD and 103 were HD satellite pay TV channels.
Apart from the radio channels operated by pubcaster All India Radio, as on December 2022, there were 388 operational private FM Radio channels in 113 cities operated by 36 private FM Radio companies.
The advertisement revenue reported by private sector FM Radio operators stood at Rs 427.18 crore as against Rs 385.86 crore in respect of 388 private FM Radio channels for the previous quarter ending September 2022.
Meanwhile, a PTI report from New Delhi stated that the government’s collection from spectrum usage charges more than halved to Rs 811 crore while telecom operators adjusted gross revenue grew by 14 per cent to Rs 62,904 crore in the October-December quarter 2022 over the year-ago period, as per Trai performance indicator report.
The telecom service providers paid Rs 1,760 crore as spectrum usage charge in the December 2021 quarter, according to the performance indicator report released by the TRAI.
The total adjusted gross revenue (AGR) — on which license fees and SUC are computed — of telecom service providers was Rs 55,151 crore in December and 2021 quarter.
Reliance Jio led the market with the highest AGR of Rs 22,586.32 crore, while Bharti Airtel with AGR of Rs 18,290 crore recorded the biggest growth of 26.27 per cent on YoY basis.
The gross revenue of telecom service providers grew 26.5 per cent on YoY basis to Rs 88,166 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 69,695 crore in December and 2021 quarter.
“Gross Revenue (GR) increased by 5.25 per cent, Applicable Gross Revenue (ApGR) increased by 2.56 per cent and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) increased by 1.49 per cent during QE (quarter ended) December 22. On YoY basis GR increased by 26.5 percent and AGR increased by 14.06 per cent in QE December 2022,” the report said.
The access service providers, which includes companies like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea , BSNL, etc contributed 81.11 percent of the total AGR of telecom services.
The all-Indian blended average revenue per user (ARPU), a key matrix of telcos growth, grew 23.63 per cent on YOY basis to Rs 141.4 per month.