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India in top league with 100 mn cells

The mobile revolution has come of age in India with the country's mobile subscriber base crossing 100 million.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 12:15 IST

The mobile revolution has come of age in India with the country's mobile subscriber base crossing 100 million and transforming the fast growing wireless market to become the fifth largest country in the world in terms of subscribers.

Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran will formally announce the achievement of the sector on Thursday.

The country's mobile subscriber base crossed 100 million in May, with GSM based cellular operators subscriber base touching 75.3 million while that of CDMA based operators touched 25.3 million.

China has the largest mobile subscriber base at 400 million.

The figures released by respective associations -- COAI and AUSPI stated that while cellular operators added 3.2 million subscribers, CDMA operators added about 1.1 million new users taking the total number of the addition to about 4.3 million.

But challenges of poor tele-density remain at 12 per cent. More worrisome is the rural telephony tele-density which is still below 2 per cent.

Currently, running into the 11th year of telecom reforms, the sector has seen a lot of controversy, litigation and major policy changes. From the corporatisation of the Department of Telecom to BSNL to the WLL controversy finally leading to full mobility and shifting of steep license fee regime to a flexible revenue-share are some of the crucial decisions taken by various governments to help facilitate growth in the sector.

Operators led by their respective associations are celebrating the 100 million mark where Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran would be present.

First Published: Jun 08, 2006 16:01 IST