Telecom industry eyes 10 mln subscribers a month

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New Delhi, Dec 12 (UNI) With over 260 million telephone subscribers in the country currently increasing at a rate of eight million a month, the industry has now set its eye on adding 10 million users a month.

''We have already seen 6-7-8 million addition a month to our subscriber base. Soon, we will see 10 million subscribers embracing mobile telephony each month,'' GSM body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General T V Ramachandran said here at the India Telecom 2007.

At present, the industry is growing at an annual CAGR of 90 per cent, he added.

India has set a target of 500 million telephone connections, 40 million internet connections and 20 million broadband connections by 2010, which comprises less than 50 per cent of country's teledensity, Mr Ramachandran said.

He stressed on the capacity building measures to sustain the explosive growth of telecom sector, adding that cutting-edge technologies should also be adopted to totally exploit the scarce resource of spectrum.

''Presently we have penetrated only half of our tele-density.

Still, we have to achieve 100 per cent growth,'' the Director General said.

Mr Ramachandran said to remove the digital divide between the urban and rural, innovative actions needs to be taken.

Earlier in the same meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed his concern over the continued rural-urban divide saying vast stretches of the rural population have little or no telecom penetration.

Dr Singh had said although the growth in the last few years has been truly impressive and the tariffs are among the lowest in the world, rural tele-density is still in single digits.

UNI

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