According to the latest data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), spectrum usage charge (SUC) collections for the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) plunged 29.84 per cent sequentially to Rs 14.03 billion during quarter ended (QE) September 2022, after the government stopped charging this statutory fee on airwaves acquired from the recent 5G auction onwards. That said, the government’s licence fee collections rose 1.6 per cent on quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) basis to Rs 49.21 billion during QE September 2022.

The data further revealed that the telecom sector recorded a 2.4 per cent sequential growth in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) in the fiscal second quarter, gaining from the spill-over effect of tariff hikes taken by private carriers in November 2021. Bharti Airtel’s quarterly AGR (or revenue from licensed services) grew 4.39 per cent sequentially to Rs 178.93 billion during the quarter under consideration, while the AGR for Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) rose 3.14 per cent and 1.66 per cent on Q-o-Q basis to Rs 221.92 billion and Rs 74.78 billion, respectively. Overall, the telecom industry AGR rose to Rs 619.81 billion during the period.

Meanwhile, TRAI’s report on the telecom industry’s fiscal second-quarter performance also indicated that monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) from wireless services rose 2.81 per cent on Q-o-Q basis to Rs 137.31. In addition, the data also showed that the country’s internet user base rose 1.68 per cent sequentially to 850.95 million in the September 2022 quarter. Of them, 820.13 million were wireless internet users and 30.82 million comprised of wired users.