100M mobile subscribers in India

By agencies   |   Friday, 09 June 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's cell phone subscribers base has exceeded the 100 million mark at the end of May. With this India becomes the fifth country in the world to attain the landmark, Communications and information technology minister today said. "From 74 million telephone users in 2004, we have doubled it to over 150 million," Communications and Information Technology minister Dayanidhi Maran said. India joined China, U.S. Japan and Russia to have more than 100 million cell phone users. Overall, the country has a total of nearly 150 million users, including those using fixed lines. "This trend is because of the policies of the government and the lowering of tariffs by the companies," he said. With nearly 3 million phone users being added every month, India has emerged as one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world. The growth can be attributed to the lowest tariffs in the world, low cost of handsets and rising incomes of the country's estimated 300 million strong middle class. Maran said Indian companies should aim at adding 5 million users each month to attain the government's target of 250 million users by December 2007 and 500 million by 2010. The number of phones per 100 people has now risen to 13 from seven in 2004 in India.