India's mobile subscriber base to touch 696 million this year: Gartner

By Kul Bhushan | Published on Jan 01 1970
India's mobile subscriber base to touch 696 million this year: Gartner

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Technology researcher Gartner in its latest report hints that growth in mobile subscriber base in India has slowed down but revenues from data services are rising.

According to Gartner's report, India's mobile subscriber base is likely to rise to 696 million this year, a growth of 9 per cent. Last year subscriber base stood at 638 million connections. Also, revenue from the mobile services such as SMS, Internet or ringtones are is forecasted to hit $ 30 billion by 2016.

The Gartner report suggests that India is unlikely to surpass China in terms of mobile service penetration. It points out that India's mobile service penetration currently stands at 51 per cent and is projected to hit 72 per cent growth rate by 2016, whereas China has 71 per cent mobile penetration and is likely to grow at a staggering 119 per cent rate.

Mobile data revenue in India has huge growth opportunities but mainly because of poor Internet penetration, the report notes. India is lagging behind various emerging markets in terms of fixed broadband penetration. India's fixed broadband household penetration was six per cent in 2011, which is lesser than the overall penetration in emerging markets ( approximately16 per cent in 2011).

Gartner, however, lauded the Department of Telecom and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for playing a key role in making removing uncertainties in policy-making, and licence and spectrum management.

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Kul Bhushan

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