New Delhi: The mobile subscriber base is expected to zoom to 893 million by 2012. This is a 150 million increase of what was projected earlier, as per a report by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). The COAI's earlier estimates had shown that mobile user base will reach 743 million by 2012. The major reason stated for the increase is the huge adoption of the mobile services in the rural areas, reported The Business Line.
India is now the second largest mobile market in the world after China, which has over 650 million subscribers, with India having 400 million mobile users. According to COAI's projection, there will be 1.24 billion mobile users in 2015 - which means one phone for every Indian.
"We have revised the projections because the rate at which infrastructure is growing is faster than what we had expected. Operators are moving into the hinterland and uncovered areas. Secondly, we are getting almost 50 per cent of our new additions from the rural areas. The third factor is that the level of competition has increased with new players in the sector which again leads to faster deployment of networks," says T. V. Ramachandran, Director-General, COAI.
"Indian growth story is here to stay. I will push back against any view that says to the contrary. There is still a huge untapped market in both rural and urban areas," says Atul Bindal, President, Mobility, Bharti Airtel. According to him, three out of five new subscribers are now coming from non-urban areas and expect to get the company's next 100 million users in another two-three years.