3G, broadband wireless access key frontiers of growth: Economic Survey

February 25th, 2011 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) India’s Economic Survey for 2010-11 Friday termed the introduction of third generation (3G) and broadband wireless access (BWA) technologies as the “key frontiers” of the growth of the telecom industry. “The last five years have been transformational for Indian telecom industry, the next few years look even more exciting. One of the key new frontiers is 3G technology,” said the annual report tabled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha Friday.

“The auction of 3G and BWA spectrum has been successfully conducted. This will encourage further expansion of wireless services,” it added.

Considering the growth of wireless telecom, the survey also said there are excellent opportunities for domestic and foreign investors in the manufacturing sector as well.

At present, most wireless core equipment is imported and there is great potential to manufacture these items in the country.

The production of telecom equipments in value terms increased from Rs.48,800 crore during 2008-09 to Rs.51,000 crore during 2009-10.

The worth of telecom equipment, including customer premises equipment produced during 2010-11, is expected to be about Rs.53,500 crore.

Exports of telecom equipment have also increased from Rs.11,000 crore in 2008-09 to Rs.13,500 crore during 2009-10 and are expected to increase to Rs.14,000 crore in 2010-11.

The survey also said there are still about 62,443 uncovered villages which would also be provided with village public telephone facility with subsidy support from universal service obligation fund.

The survey stated that the sector has not only led to rapid growth but also helped a great deal towards maximisation of consumer benefits as tariff have been falling across the board.

The average tariff has come down from almost Rs.17 per minute in 1999 to about Rs.3 per minute in 2004 and, by March 2010, this became as low as 57 paise per minute while today it has reached a level of 30 paise per minute.

The total telephone subscribers base rose to 764.77 million at the end of November 2010 as against 76.54 million in 2004.

While the wireless telephone connections contributed to growth as their numbers rose from 35.62 million in March 2004 to 729.58 million at the end of November 2010. The wireline has shown a decline from 40.92 million in 2004 to 35.19 million in November 2010.

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