INDIA ADDS 13.45mn MOBILE USERS IN FEB: TRAI

By March 20th, 2009 AT 3:15 PM

The Indian telecom scene continues to record a robust growth with the operators adding over 13 million customers in February, higher than the average addition of 10 million in past few months. However, the total addition in February is a lower than the January additions of over 15 million subscribers.

Telecos attribute the marginal dip to being a shorter month by two days.The number of phone connections in the country mobile and landline has reached 413 million as of February-end compared to 400 million in January, telecom regulator Trai said. Mobile phone users now account for close to 91% of the country’s telephone base with 375.74 million mobile connections.

The robust growth has also helped push the country’s tele density to 35.62%, an increase of 1.12% when compared to January. This means, there are about 36 phone connections for every 100 people in India.The growth in the telecom sector has come in the backdrop of increased competition in the market leading to cheap call rates, which are among the lowest in the world.

RCOM added close to 3 million new users in GSM-CDMA . The company now has a subscriber base of 69.6 million compared to 66.2 million in January.RCOM launched GSM services in January,Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, the two largest GSM operators in the country added 2.7 million and 2.5 million new subscribers respectively in the month of February, while Tata Teleservices, a CDMA operator added about 1 million new users.

India, the world’s fastest growing mobile market, is expected to sustain the current growth rates as telcos expand their offerings to rural India. Currently, rural India accounts for only 27% of the country’s cellular base even though it represents about 70% of India’s population.

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