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Growth Spike Brings India Closer to 1 Billion Mobile Subscribers

Mobile phone carriers in India have shown an impressive hike in their mobile service subscribers database in the month of July as they close in on the one billion subscribers mark.

India, which in 1998 had less than a million mobile service subscribers, witnessed a 700% growth rate in 2010 by  reaching 752 million subscribers according to a  report by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).   India, which has already crossed the 850 million mobile service users mark, is close to reaching the 1 billion  mobile service subscribers.

The question to be answered is, “Can India touch the figure of 1 billion mobile users by the end of year 2011?”

India’s top mobile phone carriers have shown an impressive increase in their mobile service subscribers database during the month of July according to a report by Reuters which may help shed some light on the possibilities of this happening.

Key Findings:

  • Bharti  Airtel – Added 1.51 million mobile subscribers in July, taking its total mobile users in the country to 170.7 million.
  • Vodafone’s India unit – Added 1.49 million mobile subscribers in July, taking its total mobile users in the country to 143 million.
  • Idea Cellular – Added 1.0 million mobile subscribers in July, taking its  total to 96.1 million.
  • Telenor’s India unit – Added 1.06 million users, taking its total to 27.4 million.

If the trend continues, this explosion of new users has certainly opened up the possibility of 1 billion users before the end of the year.  Personally, having followed the telecom industry closely over the past few years, I can’t say for sure that it will in fact happen, but if I were to place a bet, it would be on 2011 being a landmark year for the industry.

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