MUMBAI: Direct-to-home television service providers appear to be having a tough time retaining their subscribers. A large portion of their registered subscribers are inactive.
Of the total registered subscriber base of 60.71 million of the six DTH companies as on 30 September, 2013, the number of active subscribers was just 34.26 million (or 56 per cent), according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s quarterly report titled ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators’.
The DTH subscriber base as on 30 September 2013 was three per cent more than a quarter ago.
The report said the number of internet subscribers (excluding internet access by mobile devices) has increased 1.38 per cent from 21.89 million at the end of June 2013 to 22.19 million at the end of September 2013.
The number of broadband subscribers has also risen. The figure went up from 15.20 million in June to 15.35 million in September, thus registering a quarterly growth of 0.99 per cent and year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 4.52 per cent. That apart, the number of narrowband subscribers (except internet access by mobile devices) increased from 6.69 million to 6.84 million, registering a quarterly growth of 2.25 per cent from a quarter ago.
The report also mentions that the number of private satellite TV channels as permitted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is 784, of which 187 are pay channels. The maximum number of TV channels (Pay, FTA and Local) being carried by any of the reported Multi System Operators (MSOs) is 218 whereas in the conventional analogue form, maximum number of channels being carried by any of the reported MSOs is 100 channels.
As per the report, the number of telephone subscribers has decreased from 903.09 million at the end of June 2013 to 899.86 million at the end of September 2013, thus registering a negative growth of 0.36 per cent over the previous quarter. “This reflects y-o-y negative growth of 4.03 per cent over the same quarter last year,” states the TRAI report.
The report also highlights a net decline of 2.78 million telephone subscribers during the quarter. “The total wireless (GSM + CDMA) subscriber base has decreased from 873.36 million to 870.58 million, registering a negative growth rate of 0.32 per cent over the previous quarter. The y-o-y negative growth rate of wireless subscribers for September is 3.97 per cent,” says the report.
The number of subscribers who accessed internet using a mobile device is 188.20 million during the quarter ending September 2013.