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Quarterly Indian Telecom Report For June 2009: TRAI


The Indian telecom regulatory body TRAI has released a quarterly report on the statistics and performance of service providers in the telecommunications and internet markets. The report for April-May-June is available here (PDF).

PCOs Vanishing?

pcoThe humble STD booth is disappearing from the face of India. The total number of Public Call Offices (PCOs) in the country as on 30th June 2009 was 61,13,423, showing a reduction of 88,018 PCOs from the previous quarter.  In the March quarter, the number of PCOs had actually risen from 5.98 million to 6.2 million.  Private operators own 66.7% of the market while BSNL’s share is 29.9% and MTNL’s 3.4%.

Read the Q1 report on Indian Telecom sector on Medianama

Village Public Telephones

vpts3,798 VPTs were added in the June quarter, increasing the total to 5,64,337.

Rural Versus Urban

Bharti Airtel has the maximum rural subscribers with 33.78 million, followed by Vodafone with BSNL’s 29.64 million and Reliance with 16.36 million. Rural teledensity reached 16.61% and urban teledensity was 95.05% at the end of June-09. BSNL/MTNL, the PSU operators own 86.2% of the market share. Rural wireless subscribers rose to 125.95 Million in June 2009.

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After plateauing for two consecutive quarters at 3.27%, teledensity of landlines in the country is down to 3.22% from 3.38% in June 2008. Surprisingly, rural wireline subscription has been declining at a faster rate than urban. Landline additions have been seen only in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & UP(W). The two PSUs BSNL/MTNL, which together own the majority market share, lost a total of 0.57 million subscribers in the quarter.

Performance: Has deteriorated in the June quarter as compared to the previous quarter in terms of faults incidences, metering & billing credibility, response time/ percentage of calls answered by the operator,  the report notes.

In fault incidences per 100 subscribers per month – BSNL, MTNL, Bharti and HFCL did not meet benchmarks while Tata Indicom and Reliance Communications fell behind in metering and billing.

Metrics of Wireless Industry


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  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) declined by 10% to Rs. 185 in June, primarily due to the prepaid segment, where ARPU fell from Rs. 181 in March to Rs. 162 in June. Postpaid ARPU dropped negligibly to Rs. 539 in June.
  • Minutes of Use (MOU) per subscriber continued to show a declining trend, falling by 6.19% to 454 minutes in June. Outgoing MOUs declined by 5.30% and incoming by 7.04%.
  • Postpaid MOU fell by 1.53% and pre-paid by 5.68%. Outgoing SMS per subscriber decreased from 30 in Mar-09 to 28 in Jun-09. All India blended average outgo per minute was Rs. 0.74 in June-09.
  • GSM is growing at 2.53 times the CDMA telecom industry and as of June, GSM subscribers constituted 77% of the wireless market.


  • All India blended ARPU for postpaid increased to Rs. 396 while that of prepaid fell to Rs. 69 in June-09. The total MOU per subscriber is now 342 minutes.
  • Outgoing MOU dropped by 2.7% to 160 minutes; incoming MOU by 5.2% to 182 minutes. SMS usage increased to 11 in June-09.
  • All India blended average outgo per minute for CDMA slid to Rs. 0.56 in June-09.

Revenues From Telcos Fell

There was a 3.3% reduction in gross revenues reported by telcos to Rs 39,108.33 crores in the June quarter; adjusted gross revenue rose marginally.

More Calls Dropped, Poorer Response Times To Consumers & Resolution

The performance of the wireless service providers has improved in some portions, just met the benchmarks in others. Compared to the previous quarter, it has degraded when it comes to:

  • Call set-up success rate (within operator’s own network) – Bharti is having trouble in Karnataka, Bihar and North East
  • Call drop rate -Vodafone in Madhya Pradesh
  • Response time to the customer for assistance, especially the calls answered (voice to voice) by the operator – almost all of them: BSNL, MTNL,Tata Teleservices (Indicom), Idea Cellular, RTL, RCOM, Bharti, Vodafone, Spice (Idea), Aircel and Sistema Shyam (MTS) are not up to the bar.
  • Complaints per 100 bills issued – Aircel and Idea Cellular receive many complaints
  • Percentage of complaints resolved within 4 weeks – Aircel is unable to resolve complaints within the given timeframe in Andhra Pradesh


Quarterly growth rate fell in the June quarter to 3.8% from 5.3% in the previous quarter (January-February-March).

Of the 2.39 million Internet Subscribers added during the period June-08 to June-09, 2.24 million are broadband subscribers, which comes to 94% of the net additions.

BSNL held 54.09% of the market share with 7.60 million Internet subscribers. MTNL was at second position with 2.18 million followed by Bharti with 1.14 million. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh had more connections with speeds between 256 kbps -2 Mbps than other states. Broadband is classified as Internet speeds of 256 Kbps and above by the telecom regulator.

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DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is how 86.66% of total broadband subscribers connect to the net. Cable modems follow with 7.36% connections, while Ethernet/LANs form 4.15%, fibre 0.53% and wireless formed 0.94% of the connections. The number of subscribers capable of using wireless (either as GPRS or other mobile Internet connections) reached 126.97 million in the June quarter, compared to 75.97 million last year and 117.82 in the previous quarter.

The total number of Internet leased line customers is 25,888 at the end of June 2009 as compared to 24,883 in March. As per the reports available with the TRAI, 34 ISPs are providing Internet Telephony services presently.

Revenues – The total revenue as reported by ISPs was Rs.2039.51 crores at the end of June 2009. Revenues from the sector increased by 1.92% from the previous quarter. The revenue flow is Rs. 138.52 crores from Dial up Subscribers, 454.09 crores from Leased Line Subscribers, 1221.06 crores from Broadband Subscribers, 10.23 crores from Internet Telephony subscribers and 214.73 crores from other services. The IPTV sector seems to have taken a hit – from contributing Rs. 1.14 crores, it is now down to 0.87 crores.


The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) per month for dialup Internet usage rose 2.97% to Rs 243.50 for the quarter ending June 2009. The average MOU was 243.57 minutes during between 8 a.m to 8 p.m and 109.67 minutes at night.

TV, DTH, Set Top Boxes
stbsThe total number of channels registered with Ministry of I&B is 447. There are reportedly 136 pay TV channels being broadcasted/ distributed by 24 broadcasters or their distributors.

The 5 private DTH players have a reported subscriber base of 15.17 million users. This is up from 13.09 million in Q1.

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The number of set-top boxes installed in CAS (Conditional Access Setup) areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai increased to 8,16,192 in June-09.

Three private FM Radio stations were added in the quarter.  Revenues from advertisement from 190 radio stations amount to Rs. 226.21 crores, up from Rs. 139.96 crores last quarter.


July 2009: 14.38M Mobile Connections Added In India; Landlines Sink; Broadband At 6.8M
Q1 India Telecom Data: 44.87M Wireless Added, ARPUs Tank, 13.09M DTH Connections
Quarterly India Telecom Data For Dec 2008: Dialup ARPU Up; 11.1M DTH Connections; 4.5L Landlines Uninstalled

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