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110 pay channels are on cable networks in India: Trai
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MUMBAI: There are 110 pay and 180 free-to-air channels jostling for space on Indian cable networks, according to information provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India based on data collected from various multi-system operators (MSOs).

Overall, there are 129 pay channels as on 31 December 2008. This is based on data provided by 19 broadcasters or their distributors to the sector regulator.

Trai has also updated the figures for digital set-top boxes in Cas (conditional access system) areas till 31 December, 2008. The number of digital STBs has increased to 767,616, up 6.95 per cent from the previous quarter.

The DTH subscriber base, served by five private operators, has touched 11.1 million till 31 December, 2008.

In the radio business, apart from All India Radio, there are 245 operational private FM Radio stations across India, said Trai. In the three months, September-December only nine FM channels have been launched.

Trai said that out of 60 licensees of community radio stations, 41 are in operation. In the previous quarter (ending 30 September), there were 57 community radio station licensees, out of which 36 were operational.

Trai also mentioned that as per the reports submitted to it, 84 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are providing broadband services in India. However, out of these 84 ISPs only 15 service providers are having a base of more than 10,000 subscribers each and these 15 service providers share 98.64 per cent of total subscriber base in this quarter.

Internet wireline subscribers have reached 12.85 million, as compared to 12.24 million during the previous quarter (30 September, 2008). There are 5.52 million broadband subscribers, up 12.65 per cent from the previous quarter.

The Average Revenue Per User (Arpu) for dial-up Internet subscribers remained Rs 221.97 for the quarter ending December, 2008, while the minutes of usage for dial-up access per subscriber/month is 214.23 minutes.

The report also suggests that there are 101.1 million wireless Internet subscribers, capable of accessing Internet through mobile handset (GSM/ CDMA), for the quarter ending December 2008.

Trai also mentioned in the report that the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has retained its top position with a subscriber base of 6.70 million Internet subscribers at the end of December 2008 against 6.38 million at the end of last quarter.

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