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Telecom to see growth spurt in 2007

India has exceeded 100 mn GSM subscribers in 2006, becoming the fifth country to achieve this benchmark.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 12:24 IST

India's telecom sector, which has witnessed an exponential growth of 50 per cent this year, is poised for further development in the coming year.

With the government setting up the target of 250 million phones by December 2007, tele-density of the country is set to increase to 22 per cent from the current 16.28 per cent, said a statement by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

"The total number of telephones has increased from 125.79 million as on December 31, 2005 to 183.46 million as on November 30, 2006 and the share of wireless phones has increased from 68 per cent in December 2005 to 78 percent in November 2006," said the release.

During 2006, India surpassed the target of 100 million GSM mobile subscribers thus becoming the fifth country to achieve this benchmark after China, USA, Japan and Russia.

"Under Bharat Nirman Programme, out of 66,822 villages, a total of 36,014 village public telephones (VPTs) have been provided as on October 31. The rest of the villages will be covered well ahead of November 2007," the DoT said.

According to the DoT, 14,183 villages will be covered with telephony using the digital satellite phone terminals (DSPT) technology using the Indian satellite band frequency, the procurement of which is underway.

Indian telecom sector's phenomenal growth has also been boosted the confidence of some of the world's renowned telecom companies, which are eager to set up their manufacturing bases in New Delhi.

"Major companies like Foxconn, Aspcomomp, and Solectron have decided to set up their manufacturing bases in India. In the telecom manufacturing itself, there has been a commitment of more than $1.5 bn," the release said.

"It is also expected that fresh commitments of about $2 bn in the next one year or so in the telecom manufacturing."

Finnish handset major Nokia set up is manufacturing facility in Chennai along with LG Electronics which has set up its base in Pune.

Ericsson recently launched their R&D centre in Chennai and Motorola, which also set its unit with an investment of over $100 mn, will soon start production from the first quarter of 2007.

A large number of companies like Alcatel, Cisco have also shown interest in setting up their R&D centres in India, the DoT said.