Trai New DTH Rules Might Patch Up Old Dents of Tariff Regime and Bring Growth in DTH Industry

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Things have surely changed in a year in the DTH industry of India. Last year during the same time, the subscribers were left scratching their heads as to what they should do about their TV connection. While the Trai was done implementing the new Tariff Regime or the National Tariff Order, the responsibility was on the DTH operators, cable TV operators and the consumers to make the shift to the new regime and understand the nuances of the new rules. This led to a massive decline in the number of subscribers in the DTH industry as a lot of these consumers decided that the price they were paying for the DTH connection, which was more than before and the hassle was not worth what they were getting. To patch up these rules, Trai then started ideating on the fixes of the National Tariff Order. Now, these rules have already become public and will come into effect on March 31. But, will these rule changes be able to undo what the Trai tariff regime did to the DTH subscriber count? Read ahead to find out.


Dent in Subscriber Base Because of Trai Tariff Regime

Firstly, it is important to look at the data and find out how much did the DTH industry actually take the blow for the introduction of the Trai tariff regime. As per the performance indicator report which Trai publishes detailing the subscriber count and other details of the telecom and DTH industry, the subscriber count before the implementation of the Trai tariff regime was 72.44 million, whereas, after the implementation of the Trai tariff regime, the subscriber base in the DTH industry fell down to 54.26 million which was a fall of 18 million. The reasons for this were poor subscriber education, disruption in services and the increased prices.

Subscribers Coming Back to DTH Connections

To understand the full picture, it is also important to look at the report for the July-Sep period as well. In this period, the DTH subscribers grew to 69.3 million. This basically means that 15 million DTH subscribers found their way back to their connections. Now, this a hint that the DTH industry might on the path of repair and the thing that catalyses the growth of subscribers in the industry might be new rules being introduced by Trai or the National Tariff Order 2.0.

How Will New Rules Bring Positive Change for Subscribers?

While the Trai tariff regime was first introduced in 2019, it largely increased the prices of the DTH connections and the monthly rentals, but the second iteration of the same is going to have a different impact. Out of all the changes that Trai has proposed in the upcoming days for the DTH industry, the subscribers will get multi TV connections at a lower rate than previously what they were paying. The Multi TV rate has been set at 40% of the base NCF of the primary connection. This would allow the subscribers to have two connections with an affordable price range.

The Network Capacity Fee Rules are also being redefined with the NCF now capped at Rs 160 regardless of the channel count. Not only this, but the biggest benefit for the consumers in the DTH industry would be the increase of the channel count under the base NCF from 100 to 200. This means that the subscribers would be able to cut down their TV bills by as much as Rs 40 to Rs 50 in some cases.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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