India adds record 15.6 mn new phone users in March (Second Lead)April 22nd, 2009 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Showing no signs of any slowdown and backed by heavy rural demand, India added a record 15.87 million new phone connections in March, to take its telecom density to nearly 40 percent, fresh data said Wednesday.
India, which already boasts of the second-largest telecom user base in the world after China’s and ahead of the US, now has 429.72 million telecom subscribers, both in the wireless and mobile segments, with a record growth of 59.48 percent last fiscal.
“With this growth, the overall tele-density has reached 36.98 at the end of March 2009 as against 35.65 in February 2009,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the industry watchdog, said in a statement.
However, telecom experts are not impressed by the growth figures.
“The growth is good but the penetration of telecom services in the rural areas has not been impressive,” Jaideep Ghosh, communications director of global consultancy firm KPMG, said.
“If we were to measure the tele-density in rural areas, it is hardly in double digit number,” he added.
The maximum growth, the data showed, came in the wireless market, which expanded by 15.64 million subscribers in March, to 391.76 million. In the wire-line segment, the subscriber base increased by 230,000 connections to 37.96 million.
“These number would continue for 8-10 quarters owing to low sim card prices, but then for how long will these sim cards produce money for telecom operators? This is a major issue,” Ghosh said.
The industry watchdog said the broadband base also continued to expand at an equally fast pace to 6.22 million as against 5.85 million in February.
The industry has been attributing the fast expansion last fiscal, in spite of an overall economic slowdown, to the growing appetite in rural areas. Studies show that India’s demand in the hinterland remained robust, as against the decline in urban centres.
- India adds record 15.6 mn new phone users in March (Lead) - Apr 22, 2009
- Telecom growth continues with 15.87 mn new connections - Apr 22, 2009
- Number of new telecom subscribers dips in April - Jun 01, 2009
- Rural areas fuel telecom growth in India - Apr 24, 2009
- Telecom sector revenues cross Rs.40,000 crore - Jul 13, 2009
- Number of new telecom subscribers dips in April (Lead) - Jun 01, 2009
- India's 300 mn mobile phone 'ghosts' (Comment) - May 04, 2011
- Actual tele-density is 41 not 66 percent: Study - May 03, 2011
- India has 706 million mobile connections: TRAI - Dec 27, 2010
- How spectrum policy spurred tele-density, lowered tariff - Feb 24, 2011
- India adds 16.9 million telecom users in April: TRAI - May 28, 2010
- Telecom growth due to government policy and entrepreneurship - Sep 14, 2010
- Data, not voice, will now drive telecom growth: Report - Dec 13, 2011
- India now has 858.4 million mobile phone subscribers - Sep 09, 2011
- Teledensity in India touches 51.05 percent - Mar 29, 2010
Tags: communications director, consultancy firm, digit number, economic slowdown, hinterland, industry watchdog, line segment, maximum growth, million subscribers, phone connections, phone users, sim card, sim cards, subscriber base, telecom experts, telecom operators, telecom regulatory authority, telecom regulatory authority of india, telecom services, urban centres