New Delhi: India, the world’s fastest growing wireless services market, will probably have sales of 100 million mobile phones in the year starting today, Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran said.
India, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, where local mobile- call charges are as low as $0.20 (Rs8.85) a minute, added 6.81 million wireless users in January. Almost 80% of the nation’s 196.7 million phone users are mobile-phone subscribers.
“Taking into account the present trend of subscriber additions, it is estimated that there will be a demand of about 100 million handsets in the next one year,” Maran said in a statement in parliament today. He didn’t give comparative year-earlier numbers.
India expects the number of telephone users to more than triple to 650 million by 2012 as carriers expand networks and attract customers with low prices, the government said on 27 February in the Economic Survey for the fiscal year ending 31 March.
Almost 90%, or 584 million users, are expected to be mobile-phone services subscribers.
Nokia, the world’s top handset maker, and second-ranked Motorola Inc. both operate handset plants in India.