India’s telecom industry earns Rs.371 bn revenue in Q2

January 13th, 2009 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Indian telecom sector continued its robust growth with the wireless market growing at 9.91 percent and churning revenues worth Rs.371 billion (Rs.37,196 crore) for the second quarter ending September, an official agency said Tuesday. A total of 28.44 million subscribers was added in this quarter, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a statement.

The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for the quarter is placed at Rs.273 billion (Rs.27,357 crore) as against Rs.26,990 crore (Rs.269 billion) for the previous quarter, thereby showing an increase of 1.36 percent.

“The total subscriber base of the wireline and wireless services reached 353.66 million for the quarter ending September as against 325.79 million for the quarter ending June, thus registering an increase of 8.55 percent during the quarter,” it said.

The tele-density too reached 30.64 in the September quarter as compared to 28.33 for the previous quarter, TRAI said.

Though the wireless subscribers increased from 286.87 million to 315.31 million, the wireline subscriber base decreased for the quarter to 38.35 million from 38.92 million in quarter ending June.

However, the average revenue per user (ARPU) for GSM subscribers, all India segment, decreased 7.53 percent from Rs.239 in June to Rs.221 in September.

ARPU for postpaid service showed a decline of 2.8 percent from Rs.600 to Rs.584 during the quarter. Prepaid service also showed a 7.5 percent decline in ARPU from Rs.204 in June to Rs.189, Trai said.

As regards the CDMA segment, all India blended ARPU (per month) for the second quarter is Rs.122 as compared to Rs.139 for the previous quarter.

The internet wireline subscribers witnessed a growth of 12.24 million for the quarter against 11.66 million during the previous quarter registering a growth of 4.97 percent.

State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) retained its top position and reported a subscriber base of nearly 6.38 million internet subscribers against 5.94 million at the end of last quarter, TRAI said.

An 11.87 percent growth was registered in the number of broadband subscribers in this quarter.

The second quarter also witnessed a spurt in number of free-to-air (FTA) and pay channels being carried by the cable networks for television. Currently, there are 161 FTA channels and 129 pay channels as reported by 19 broadcasters/their distributors at the quarter ending September.

However, no new private FM radio station came into operation in the quarter under review, TRAI said. Also, no direct-to-home (DTH) license was issued.

Though the telecom industry saw various ups and downs, the sector witnessed international investor community betting on the Indian market.

Norway-based Telenor, the world’s seventh largest telecom operator, bought a new-generation telecom company Unitech Wireless by paying $1.29 billion for a 60 percent stake.

Similarly, another start-up, Swan Telecom, which did not have a single subscriber, sold a 45 percent stake to the UAE’s Etisalat for $900 million, taking the company’s book value to $2 billion.

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