Ring in the new Telecom market
Date: Saturday , April 30, 2005
With the number of telephone connections in India surpassing 100 million recently, India has become the sixth nation in the world to have the highest number of telephone connections, with teledensity jumping to 9.13 percent (per 100 people) from 2.86 percent in 2000.
China, U.S., Japan, Germany and Canada top the list. The large number of new connections has been in the cellular network due to rapidly expanding network, and low tariffs. Cellular connections rose 172 percent in `04 -`05 and 102 percent in the year before.
According to a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, teledensity during 2004-05 increased 1.96 percent to reach 9.13 percent, compared to 7.17 percent at the end of the previous 2003-04. Cellular telephone connections accounted for 94 percent of new telephone connections in 2004-05 while the growth of fixed networks has decreased between 2004 and 2005.
The number of telephone connections includes fixed wireline, fixed wireless (WLL), and cellular (GSM and CDMA). Amongst 100 million, 46.21 percent are fixed phones and 53.79 percent mobile phones. While the State-owned telecom companies BSNL and MTNL provided 51.39 percent connection, private operators account for 48.61 percent of the connections.
India has also set an ambitious target of increasing Internet users to 18 million from the current 5.45 million concurrent with broadband connections increasing to nine million. To enable faster growth and expansion of the telecom sector, India has allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecom sector up to 74 percent and has decided to
provide more spectrums to the operators.
Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran said the country’s teledensity would be 22 percent by 2007 from the current 9 percent by 2007 with 250 million fixed and mobile phone connections. “By that time, (2007) the entire country shall be carpeted by telecom network and all the villages shall be connected by phone,” Maran said.