India's telecom sector ranks 6th with 93M subscribers

By agencies   |   Thursday, 31 March 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: A Financial Express-ICRA study on the telecom sector has revealed that the Indian telecom sector is ranked sixth in the world with 93.2 million telephone subscribers at the end of 2004.

The study provides an overview of the challenges, opportunities and salient features of the sector. India has an estimated tele-density of 8.5 compared to 51 in China and 117 in the U.S.

The sector comprises basic services, cellular mobile services and national and international long distance services. Overall telephone connections have gone up by 40.5 percent during 03-04 from 21.1 percent in 02-03 and 24 percent in 01-02.

Owing to increased competition from cellular services, growth of fixed network has slowed down between 2002 and 2003. Cellular connections rose 159 percent in 03-04 and 102 percent in the year before.

Cellular telephone connections accounted for 94 percent of new telephone connections in compared to 33 percent in 01-02. According to the study, liberalization in the Indian telecom industry has led to competition within the cellular services, which is expected to keep subscription growth high and pressure on prices.

The study stated that growth in data related services is expected to drive growth of telecom revenue in future.

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