Even as India adds over nine million telecom subscribers every month, data released today by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) show that in the first two quarters of 2008 the average revenue per user (ARPU) of telecom firms has come down. through the quality of their service has improved. Due to the poor performance of the state-owned telecom firms, the gross revenue of the sector has declined 1.3 % during the period.
Post-paid customers accounted for a lesser erosion in ARPU than pre-paid customers. ARPU for post-paid service declined 5.9 per cent from Rs 638 in March 2008 to Rs 600 in June 2008, while ARPU for pre-paid service declined 8.9 per cent from Rs 224 to Rs 204.
The quality of service across the country has improved. The number of operators who defaulted on the basic benchmark set by Trai declined in both fixed-line and wireless segments. For instance, the number of defaulting fixed-line operators on the call completion rate (benchmarked at more than 55 per cent) in a local area has come down from seven out of 78 operators in the first quarter to four in the second quarter. Also, the number of operators defaulting on the eight-hour benchmark repair time has declined to 21 from 25.
The quality of service by wireless operators has also improved.