Regulator expecting growth to pick up

9 Jul 2004

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released figures for June 2004 showing that the country’s fixed and mobile operators added 1.61 million new subscribers during the month, up from 1.46 million in May. The mobile segment grew by 1.43 million connections, up from 1.33 million; of these, 1.05 million were cellular subscribers and the remaining 380,000 wireless in the local loop mobile (WLLM) customers. In the fixed line segment TRAI said 180,000 new customers were added in June 2004, most of which were wireless in the local loop fixed lines. According to the regulator, there were 37.73 million mobile and 43.29 million fixed line subscribers in India at the end of June 2004, giving a total customer base of more than 81 million and a national teledensity of 7.42%. India is already home to the fastest growing telecoms market in the world, but TRAI believes that growth will be even higher following the planned migration to a unified licensing scheme, combined with a change in the Access Deficit Charge (whereby a fee is levied on calls to help subsidise rural telecoms services) and increased sharing of infrastructure, and coverage of new areas by operators.