Indian telecom users touch 7.67 cr mark

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Wednesday, 23 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's telecom subscriber base grew by 8.5 per cent to touch 7.67 crore for the quarter ended March 2004 compared to the previous quarter, primarily driven by a whopping surge in mobile phone users.

While subscribers of fixed services, both fixed line and WLL-F, increased marginally to 4.28 crore in the quarter from 4.2 crore in the previous quarter ended December 2003, that of mobile service users base (cellular and WLL-M) jumped to 3.36 crore from 2.84 crore, according to the quarterly performance indicators of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

The number of mobile users in the country has exceeded the fixed subscribers in circles like Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab and Chennai.

With the growth in the number of mobile subscribers continuing, the country will have more mobile subscribers than fixed users in 2004 itself.

Mobile subscribers (WLL-M) and cellular companies also showed a growth of 18.46 per cent in the quarter.

Mobile tariffs continued to show a downward trend and declined by 23 per cent during the period.

Average revenue per user for cellular users fell by five per cent to Rs 436 despite a minor rise in average minutes of use (MoU). ARPU for WLL (M) also witnessed a decline to Rs 383 per month from Rs 460.

MoU was up 45 per cent over the same quarter in 2003.

During the quarter, Internet subscriber base swelled by 10 per cent to 45 lakh with BSNL heading the list with 11.28 lakhs and MTNL 7.69 lakh, TRAI said.

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