India Officially Scaled the 500 Million Telecom Subscriber Base.Thiru A. Raja, Telecom Minister has congratulated the industry in joining hands with Government in crossing the 500 million connection mark well before the timeline set by the Government of India.
Delivering the Keynote Address at the Curtain Raiser Ceremony of ‘India Telecom 2009’ here today, Thiru A. Raja said, “About three years back we envisioned to achieve 500 million connections by the end of 2010. The conducive Government policies and the zeal of industry in this sector have helped to put the name of Indian telecom sector on the world map as we have crossed the milestone of 500 million connections in the month of September 2009 and achieved an over all teledensity of 44%”.
With the current pace of growth in mobile sector, the nation is well poised to achieve 500 million wireless connections in December 2009 which will coincide with this event India Telecom 2009. The Ceremony was organized by FICCI in association with Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, he said.
Thiru A. Raja further said, “The consistent efforts both by the Government and the industry have helped in reducing the high imbalance of rural urban divide ratio from 1:10 to 1:5 in a short span of 3 years and the rural teledensity jumped from 4.5% to 19%. To further give impetus to telecom infrastructure in rural areas, USO Funds are being leveraged extensively. 6500 mobile towers out of 7500 towers of phase-I with subsidy support from USOF have already started radiating.
USOF is also coming with various schemes including laying of dark fibre in a big way for creating adequate backhaul infrastructure in rural area. I am happy that the private sector has started participating in rural sector in a much bigger way and they now account for 80% of the rural telecom market. I am sure that the continued participation by the private sector will help us in achieving the Government target of 40% rural teledensity well before the set timeline of 2014”.
Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot, also spoke on the occasion.