Rural India Getting Mobile Savvy
Despite a moderately lower contribution to the overall teledensity of the country, rural areas have succeeded to beat the metros with a comparatively high subscriber additions rate. Based on the TRAI figures, the four metros together added 10.3 million subscribers in the first nine months of 2008, while the rural areas added over 11.3 million.
Revealing the fact that rural India too prefers mobile phones over landlines, a Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Ernst & Young study report said that around 100 million (40%) of the next 250 million Indian wireless users are likely to be from rural areas, and by 2012, rural users will account for over 60% of the total telecom subscriber base.
Mobile phones in rural India grew by close to 13.72% to reach 70.83 million in the quarter-ending June 2008. This growing trend is likely to continue till 2012, according to the analysts. “The majority of new wireless subscribers will emerge from circle B and circle C,” said Prashant Singhal, analyst of Ernst & Young telecom.
CII also predicted that the number of subscriber addition in rural areas will exceed the additions in metros by 2012, with about 120 million new users expected to adopt wireless telephony in rural areas compared to about 62 million in the metros.
India is considered to be the second largest market after China, with over 300 million mobile subscriber base throughout the country, which is expected to shoot up to include another 650 million users by 2012. The total telecom subscriber base in India however is expected to incorporate about 700 million subscribers altogether.
Affordable Services must for Rural Telephony
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