Chandigarh first Indian city with more mobiles than landlines

Wednesday, 21 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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CHANDIGARH: Weeks after being rated the best city to live in by a financial magazine, Chandigarh has crossed a mobile milestone.

The city, which is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, has become the first in the country to have more cellphones than landlines, according to the Indian Cellular Association.

Jaspreet Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh chapter of association, also said: "Per capita mobile users in Chandigarh is the highest among all cities."

Last week the city's mobile connection surpassed the number of landlines. There are 147,000 mobile telephones in Chandigarh compared to 142,000 landlines.

The landlines consist of 120,000 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) customers and 22,000 Connect users.

Spice, Airtel, BSNL and Connect's WLL service have 147,000 subscribers in all. The oldest mobile telephone service provider, Spice, has around 35,000 subscribers, Air Tel 40,000 and Connect 12,600. Around 60,000 are with BSNL.

There are around 5,000 people who have two mobile connections.

Residents of this city, rated the best to live in by Outlook Money, say cell phones are a much cheaper option than landlines and more convenient.

Ritu Puri, who runs a real estate agency, said: "Mobile telephones are more convenient for us. Landlines services here are not good and when a landline is out of order we have to wait for days to get it repaired."

Pawan Sharma, a vegetable seller at the Mani Majra market, said: "This is not my permanent shop and so I cannot install a landline. It is easier for me to receive incoming calls on my mobile from customers who want home deliveries."

According to experts, the country will take another three-four years before it can boast of more cellphones than landlines. The mobile subscriber base has grown by more than 100 percent in the past two years, they say.

Source: IANS
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