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India’s DTH sector has 43.4% inactive subscribers

MUMBAI: India’s direct-to-home (DTH) sector has 29.33 million inactive subscribers, according to the latest figures provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator report.

This constitutes 43.41 per cent of the total subscriber base and remains a thorn in the rapidly growing DTH business.

TRAI’s data till June 2014 shows a rise of 6 per cent in inactive subscribers from its earlier released quarter figures for the period through March.

Active subscribers served by the six private DTH operators stand at 38.24 million, according to the latest figures till June.

In the trailing quarter, the active subscriber base was 37.19 million.

The total number of registered subscribers is 67.57 million, as reported by the DTH operators to TRAI till June-end. Comparatively, the total number of registered subscribers in the prior quarter was 64.82 million.

Apart from the six private DTH operators, Doordarshan operates a free DTH service called Freedish. It serves an estimated 12–14 million subscribers.

For the DTH operators, churn has been an important element of their business. In the April-June quarter, Airtel Digital TV had reported 0.6 per cent churn per month with a total net subscriber base of 9.4 million. The DTH operator’s monthly churn for the fiscal second quarter ending 30 September was at 1.1 per cent while the total subscriber base stood at 9.54 million.

Dish TV’s churn during the first quarter was 0.7 per cent per month while the net subscriber base stood at 11.7 million. The DTH operator maintained the churn level during the fiscal second quarter even as its net subscriber base rose to 12.1 million.

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