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India talks: One in six has a phone

With over six million subscribers being added every month, the regulator and operators are bullish about 500 million phone connections by 2010, reports M Rajendran.

business Updated: Apr 18, 2007 19:11 IST

Every sixth Indian today has a phone. And the with over six million subscribers being added every month, the regulator and operators are bullish about 500 million phone connections by 2010.

According to the Quarterly Performance Indicators of Telecom Services for the quarter ending December 2006, released by Telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI), wireless market grew at 15.5 per cent in the quarter by adding 20.08 million subscribers.

The gross subscriber base of the wire-line and wireless services together reached 189.92 million in the quarter ending December, 2006 from 170.02 million as on September 30, 2006 — an 11.70 per cent growth for the quarter.

Interestingly, the rural wireline subscriber base dropped from 12.56 million in quarter ending September 2006 to 12.48 million in period under consideration — a decline of 0.64 per cent.

The all-India blended average revenue per user (ARPU) per month for those using GSM technology has declined by 6.2 per cent to Rs 316 in the quarter ending December 2006 from Rs 337 in the previous quarter.

The monthly ARPU for CDMA postpaid segment stood at Rs 456 and for prepaid segment at Rs 159.