Broadband is the next frontier

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 28 February 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: According to the Economic Survey 2005-06, the telecom sector would need to address and harness the challenges being posed by the Internet and convergence.

The Survey stated that the Government and telecom players are doing well registering a five-fold increase in phone penetration in last six years riding on steep tariff cuts, it said the present growth was not enough to match the huge potential.

“Though India's 125 million strong telephone network including mobile phones is one of the largest in the world, its penetration rate continues to be low at about 11.32 per hundred population. The country offers vast avenues for growth,” it added.

Terming broadband as the next frontier in telecom, the growth in subscriber base would need to increase substantially to look comparable with other Asian countries. Ability to emulate the success of many other Asian countries in the broadband area will have major implications for smoothing intra-India commerce and industry, knowledge flow into India, e-governance, greater integration into the world economy, the Survey said.

The Survey has also expressed concern at the falling market share of the Public Sector Units (PSUs) — BSNL and MTNL — in fixed telephony segment.

It stated, “The two PSUs have been losing their market share in fixed telephony. From 98.65 percent in 2001-02, their combined share declined to 85.31 percent in December 2005. In the past two years, PSUs have actually seen a decline in the number of fixed lines while such lines have grown in the private sector.”

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