Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

India hits one billion mobile phone subscribers
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) Dec 31, 2015

India notched up its billionth mobile phone subscriber in October, the country's telecoms regulator said, underscoring the importance of its fast-growing mobile market, the world's second largest after China.

Mobile phone subscriptions have boomed in India in recent years as aggressive cost-cutting by its 12 hyper-competitive operators has driven down prices, leading to some of the cheapest tariffs in the world.

The number of mobile subscribers rose by nearly 7 million in October from the previous month to surpass one billion, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said Wednesday, hitting a milestone that China reached in 2012.

"It is a matter of great pride for us. It shows an empowered India and an engaged India and a tech-savvy India," Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Times of India newspaper.

"It will mean more data, more government-to-government connectivity, more broadband," he said.

The figures do not indicate that India has one billion individual mobile phone users, however, as many people have more than one connection.

"Dual sim" phones are particularly popular, allowing the country's cost-conscious consumers to use two different mobile plans to get the cheapest rates for local or national calls, for example.

In poorer Indian states such as Bihar, "teledensity" -- the penetration of telephone connections for every hundred people -- is as low as 54 percent, with a stark urban-rural divide.

But it still represents remarkable growth in the market since 2000, when there were just two million mobile subscribers in the country, according to research firm Ipsos.

"India is adding 10 to 15 million mobile subscribers every quarter -- that's big," Bhasker Canagaradjou, head of business consulting at Ipsos in Mumbai, told AFP.

"It is the fastest-growing market globally -- even China is not growing as fast," he said.

With more than 200 million Indians mostly in rural areas yet to get their first phone and others rushing to trade up to smartphones, growth is unlikely to slow down dramatically, Canagaradjou said.

For many people in India, a mobile phone represents their sole means of accessing the Internet, with smartphones leapfrogging desktops as the most common way of getting online.

Cheap, mostly Chinese-made smartphone handsets are available from as little as around 1,000 rupees ($15), with many people waiting for free wifi connections to get online instead of buying expensive data plans.

Seeking to capitalise on this, Google recently announced a plan to install free wifi at 400 Indian railway stations across the country over the next three years.


Related Links
Satellite-based Internet technologies

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Apple wins holiday race as screen size expands: survey
Washington (AFP) Dec 29, 2015
Apple came away the winner in mobile device holiday sales worldwide amid a shift to bigger screens, a survey showed. The survey by the Yahoo-owned analytics firm Flurry showed Apple accounted for 49.1 percent of smartphones and tablets activated over the Christmas week, compared to 19.8 percent for South Korean rival Samsung. "Christmas is traditionally the biggest day of the year for ne ... read more

Rare full moon on Christmas Day

LADEE Mission Shows Force of Meteoroid Strikes on Lunar Exosphere

XPRIZE verifies moon express launch contract, kicking off new space race

Gaia's sensors scan a lunar transit

NASA suspends March launch of InSight mission to Mars

University researchers test prototype spacesuits at Kennedy

Marshall: Advancing the technology for NASA's Journey to Mars

Opportunity positioned on steeper slopes for another Martian winter

Astronauts Tour Future White Room, Crew Access Tower

Celebrity chefs create gourmet delights for astronauts

15 in '15: NASA's Commercial Crew Program Moves Closer to Flight

Researchers Recall Work on First Rendezvous in Space

Agreement with Chinese Space Tech Lab Will Advance Exploration Goals

China launches new communication satellite

China's indigenous SatNav performing well after tests

China launches Yaogan-29 remote sensing satellite

Space Station Receives New Space Tool to Help Locate Ammonia Leaks

Two whacks is all it takes for spacewalk repair

Unscheduled spacewalk likely on Monday

NASA spacewalk to fix ISS rail car

45th Space Wing launches ORBCOMM; historically lands first stage booster

SpaceX rocket landing opens 'new door' to space travel

NASA orders second Boeing Crew Mission to ISS

ESA and Arianespace ink James Webb Space Telescope launch contract

Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the 'habitable zone'

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

Monster planet is 'dancing with the stars'

Exoplanets Water Mystery Solved

Nature's masonry: The first steps in how thin protein sheets form polyhedral shells

Move aside carbon: Boron nitride-reinforced materials are even stronger

Super strong, lightweight metal could build tomorrow's spacecraft

BAE Systems to provide radar support for U.S. Air Force

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.