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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

Indian aspirers the next big number

Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra
Who doesn’t like the aura of ‘big numbers?’ We love talking about their huge impact and their making of great case studies. Big numbers are what headline stories are made of and critical decisions are based on. The impact of these numbers on the macro intent is usually very significant.

Big numbers – in the current Indian electronics context

Let us take an example of a big number in the electronic products arena today, the biggest by far. According to the GSM Association, the second billionth GSM user was added to the ever-increasing multitude of mobile users in the second quarter of 2006 – a short two and a half years after the first billion! And today we are rapidly approaching the third billion at an unprecedented speed. The India story of big numbers is even more spectacular. The country recorded the highest ever increase in the wireless subscribers base for a month in June 2007, when 7.34 million new users were added as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). This took the total wireless subscribers in India to a whopping 185 million, and the teledensity of the country to about 20%, in June 2007.

So, what is driving the bulk of these mobile phone buys in India? Without a question: Voice, the killer application. Hundreds of millions of people around the country will be making their very first voice calls using mobile connectivity – not with fixed wireline phones. And not unexpectedly – as is the case with the impact of big numbers – mobile connectivity is creating a significant economic advantage to the lives of millions of people in India. Studies have shown the high correlation of incremental mobile penetration to the growth in a country’s GDP. No wonder then that this is a story of pride for the country – and the focus ought to be on the majority. The bulk of these mobile phone subscribers today are first-time users who are moving from a world of the ‘unconnected’ to that of the ‘connected’. Voice is currently the only feature they care for.

The color TV

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