While paid DTH platforms attained net active subscriber base of 70.99 million as on December-end 2020 vs. 69.98 million subs in the year-ago period in India, out of the pay TV channels,233 were SD, while only 93 were HD channels, according to latest data from telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
In its ‘Yearly Performance Indicators Indian Telecom Sector (Fifth Edition) 2020’ report, TRAI has also stated that the country’s cable TV networks achieved 100 per cent digitization (with addressability).
Some of the key indicators of the report are as follows:
The total number of telephone subscribers increased from 1,172.44 million at the end of Dec-2019 to 1,173.83 million at the end of Dec-2020.
Total Internet subscribers increased from 718.74 million at the end of Dec-2019 to 795.18 million at the end of Dec-2020. During the same period broadband subscriber base also increased from 661.94 million to 747.41 million.
Monthly ARPUs increased from Rs.74.88 in the year 2019 to Rs.94.87 in the year 2020 and MoU per subscriber per month also increased from 701 minutes to 759 minutes during the same period.
Total gross revenue of the telecom sector increased from Rs.2,43,705 crore in Dec-2019 to Rs. 2,74,208 crore in 2020.
This report presents the key parameters and growth trends for the telecom services in India for the calendar year 2020 with an aim to provide a broad perspective on the sector and to serve as a reference document for various stakeholders, research agencies and analysts.
The report states a total of 907 private satellite TV channels were permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking only/both uplinking and downlinking, as on December 31, 2020.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in March, 2017, notified the new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services. The framework comprises Tariff Order 2017, Interconnection Regulations 2017 and Quality of Service & Consumer Protection Regulations 2017.
The framework was duly notified via press release no.71/2018 dated July 3 2018 with revised timelines for implementation. All the timelines prescribed in the above-mentioned framework commenced from July 3, 2018. The new regulatory framework has come into effect onDecember 29, 2018.
Based on data provided by broadcasters, the report said there were 326pay TV channels, as onDecember 31, 2020, which includes 233SD pay TV channels and 93HD channels.
Apart from these pay channels reported to TRAI, all other channels permitted by MIB may be considered as free to air (FTA) TV channels.
Pointing out that 100 percent digitization, with addressability, of cable TV networks was achieved, the TRAI report described it as a “stupendous achievement making India as the only large country where 100 percent digital cable has been achieved through mandatory regulations”.
Pay DTH that attained net pay active subscriber base of around 70.99 million with four service providers as on December 31, 2020 recorded an annual growth rate of 1.44 percent as compared to the previous year.
The pay DTH subscriber figures are in addition to the subscribers of the free DTH services of Doordarshan Free Dish for which the TRAI report did not disclose any data.
Tata Sky emerged the market leader with 33.03 percent market share of total net pay active DTH subscribers followed by Dish TV (25.45% share) as on December, 2020.
FM Radio Services: Apart from the radio stations operated by pubcaster All India Radio, there were 367 operational private FM radio stations in 105 cities with 31 Private FM radio broadcasters as on Dec-2020.
In the year-ago period there were 368 operational private FM radio stations in 105 existing cities with 33 FM radio broadcasters.
Telecom Subscribers: The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,172.44 million at the end of Dec-19 to 1,173.83 million at the end of Dec-20, registering a yearly growth rate of 0.12 percent.
The overall Tele- densityin India declined from 88.56 at the end of Dec-19 to 86.38 at the end of Dec-20 at a yearly decline rate of 2.47 percent.
The TRAI report said telephone subscription in urban areas declined from 662.45 million at the end of Dec-19 to 647.91 million at the end of Dec-20 at the yearly decline rate of 2.20 percent. Urban tele-density also declined from 156.26 percent at the end of Dec-19 to 138.34 percent at the end of Dec-20 with yearly decline rate of 11.47 percent.
Rural telephone subscriptions increased from 509.99 million at the end of Dec-19 to 525.92 million at the end of Dec-20 at the yearly growth rate of 3.12 percent. Rural Tele-density also increased from 56.67 percent at the end of Dec-19 to 59.05 percent at the end of Dec-20 with yearly growth rate of 4.20 percent.
Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd added the maximum number of telephone subscribers (40.46 million net addition) during the year 2020. All service providers registered decline in their subscriber base except Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel Limited and Quadrant during the year 2020.
Vodafone Idea Ltd is the service provider with the highest proportion of rural subscribers (53.72%), followed by Bharti Airtel (46.73%).
InternetServices: The total number of Internet subscribers increased from 718.74 million at the end of Dec-19 to 795.18 million at the end of Dec-20 with a yearly growth rate of 10.64 percent.
Out of total 795.18 million Internet subscribers, the number of broadband subscribers is 747.41 million and the number of narrowband subscribers was 47.77 million at the end of Dec-20.
Wireless Internet subscribers increased from 696.36 million at the end of Dec-19 to 769.64 million at the end of Dec-20 with a yearly growth rate of 10.52 percent.
Wired Internet subscribers increased from 22.39 million at the end of Dec-19 to 25.54 million at the end of Dec- 20 with yearly growth rate of 14.07 percent.
Number of broadband subscribers increased from 661.94 million at the end of Dec-19 to 747.41 million at the end of Dec-20 with a yearly growth rate of 12.91 percent.
However, the number of narrowband subscribers declined from 56.81 million at the end of Dec-19 to 47.77 million at the end of Dec-20 with a yearly declining rate of 15.91 percent.
Out of 747.41 million broadband subscribers, the number of rural broadband subscribers was 284.64 million and the number of urban broadband subscribers stood at 462.77 million.