The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently released the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicatory report for the quarter ending December 2016. This report provides a broad perspective of the telecom services as well as cable TV, direct-to-home (DTH), and radio broadcasting services in India for the period covering October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016 compiled mainly on the basis of information furnished by the service providers.
Some of the key indicators of the report are as below:
The internet subscriber base grew by 22.77 per cent from 192.30 million at the end of September 2016 to 236.09 million at the end of December 2016. On the other hand, the narrowband Internet subscriber base declined by 11.29 per cent from 175.18 million at the end of September 2016 to 155.41 million at the end of December 2016.
The total number of internet subscribers stands at 391.50 million as of December 2016. The 391.5 million subscribers comprises broadband internet subscriber base of 236.09 million and narrowband internet subscriber base of 155.41 million.
During the quarter ending December 2016, there were 287 pay channels as reported by 47 broadcasters compared to 281 pay channels reported in the previous quarter. 287 pay channels include 208 small definition (SD) pay TV channels and 79 high definition (HD) pay TV channels. During the quarter ending December 2016, as per the reporting, six new pay channels were started. No pay channel was converted into free-to-air (FTA) and no channel was reported to be discontinued.
Since its introduction in the year 2003, Indian DTH service has displayed a phenomenal growth. DTH has attained a registered pay subscriber base of around 97.05 million (including 62.65 million active subscribers). As on December 2016, there are six pay DTH service providers. This is besides the viewership of the free DTH services of Doordarshan.
Apart from the radio stations operated by All India Radio, Prasar Bharati â€“ a public broadcaster, as on December 31, 2016, there are 273 operational private FM radio stations and 84 existing cities with operational FM radio channels compared to 260 private FM radio stations reported in the previous quarter. According to the reporting of advertisement revenue done by the FM radio service providers, it has emerged that during the quarter ending December 31, 2016, 13 new private FM radio stations have become operational.
As per data received from MIB, as on December 31, 2016, out of the 255 community radio licenses issued so far, 201 stations are operational.