NEW DELHI: India, the world’s fastest-growing wireless service market, expects the number of telephone users to increase more than threefold to 650 million by 2012 as carriers expand networks and attract customers with low prices.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy, where local mobile-call charges are as low as $0.20 (Rs8.84) a minute, added 6.81million wireless users in January. Almost 80% of the 196.7 million telephone users are mobile-phone subscribers.
“By the end of 2012, a total of 650 million telephone connections, including 66 million wired and 584 million wireless connections, are expected to be achieved,” the government said in the economic survey for the fiscal year ending 31March. “Internet and broadband connections will increase to 40 million and 20 million, respectively, by 2010.”
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said on 15 February that 17.5% of the nation’s population had telephones at the end of January, compared with about 12% a year earlier.
“There is also a vision of providing 200 million rural telephone connections, which translates into a rural tele-density of 25 %,” the report said.