The recent turbulent economic weather seems to have left the telecom climate unchanged. January 2009 saw with it a burst of 15 million customers, a global record!
The total telecom subscriber base of India has, as of this January-end crossed 400 million, which has brought the teledensity of India to 34.5 %, meaning more than one in every three people has a telephone connection. Mobile users are responsible for an astonishing 91% of this, with 362.3 million users according to TRAI.
With mobile rates getting cheaper, connectivity better, and features more extensive, as can be expected, people are abandoning their outdated wired landline connections and going wireless. The wired segment registered a drop of 0.15 million, going down to 37.75 million from 37.90 million. BSNL was responsible for a drop of 0.2 million, reaching 29.29 million in January 2009 as opposed to 29.50 of December last, and MTNL lost 10,000 wired users, reducing its total subscribers to 3.5 million. Private telecom providers such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communication, and TATA Teleservices however noticed a boost in their numbers.
Many more people have also joined the broadband-wagon, as the sector saw an increase of around 0.20 million this January, to a total of 5.65 million. The target of 9 million set by the broadband policy is however still far away.
Overall it seems that the Indian telecom industry seems to be following pretty much the same rules most Indian drivers do, slow down just a little for the bump, and then push the pedal to the metal!
Source: Economic Times Website