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India’s internet penetration in 2021 went up only 4.29% YoY: TRAI

According to the TRAI’s “Yearly Performance Indicators – Indian Telecom Sector” for 2021, India has 829.30 million internet users and a total of 1,178.41 million telecom subscribers, as of December 31, 2021

TRAI has released the sixth edition of the “Yearly Performance Indicators – Indian Telecom Sector” for 2021. 

Listed below are key findings of the report:

The report covers the period between January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. 

Internet/Broadband subscribers

India has 829.30 million internet users as of December 31, 2021, which is 4.29% up YoY. Out of 829.30 million internet users, 496.20 million are urban internet users and 333.10 million users come from rural area.  

Telecom subscribers

India has a total of 1,178.41 million telecom subscribers as of December 31, 2021. Out of which 655.20 million are urban subscribers and 523.21 million are private telecom subscribers. 

Satellite TV channels

A total of 909 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking only/both uplinking and downlinking as of December 31, 2021.

Until December 31, 2020, 907 TV channels were permitted by the Ministry. Although, according to the December 2019 data, there were 918 satellite channels. Out of 909 permitted satellite TV channels, 893 channels are available for downlinking in India.

Pay-TV channels

Out of 350 pay channels, 253 are SD satellite pay-TV channels and 97 are HD satellite pay-TV channels. Apart from these pay channels reported to TRAI, all other channels, available for downlinking in India, are considered Free to Air (FTA) channels.

Cable operators

As of December 31, 2021, there are 1,753 MSOs registered with MIB. As per the data reported by MSOs and HITS operators, there are 12 MSOs and 1 HITS operator who have a subscriber base greater than one million. GTPL Hathway, Siti Network, Hathway Digital and Den Network are the leading cable operators in terms of the number of subscribers. 

DTH Operators

During the period ending December 31, 2021, there were four pay DTH service providers in India. Pay DTH has attained net pay active subscriber base of around 68.52 million with 4 pay DTH service providers as of December 31, 2021, as compared to 70.99 million subscribers with 4 pay DTH service providers as of December 31, 2020. In December 2019, there were 69.98 million subscribers. 

This is in addition to the subscribers of the free DTH services of Doordarshan. A yearly decrease rate of 3.48% has been recorded in the pay active subscriber base in the year 2021 as compared to the previous year. 

Tata Sky (now Tata Play) is the market leader with a 33.48% market share of total net pay active DTH subscribers followed by Bharti Telemedia with 26.37% as of December 31, 2021. Dish TV has a 22.04% market share and Sun Direct has an 18.11% market share. 

Radio channels

Apart from the radio Stations operated by All India Radio, the public broadcaster, there are 386 operational private FM Radio stations in 113 cities with operational 36 Private FM Radio broadcasters as compared to 367 operational private FM Radio stations in 105 cities with operational FM Radio broadcaster as on December 31, 2020.

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