BSNL aims for another 30 million GSM lines to cope with rocketing demand

5 May 2005

The chairman of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), AK Sinha, claimed yesterday that the operator will finalise plans to procure equipment for 30 to 40 million GSM connections within the next three months. The plan is intended to address the astounding growth in India’s wireless sector, the fastest growing in the world with around 1.7 new mobile users per month. The rate of new additions is likely to increase further in the coming months as BSNL and other cellcos expand their networks to encompass remote areas. According to Sinha, BSNL plans to spend up to INR800 billion in the next three years on infrastructure, to boost its potential mobile subscriber base to over 100 million from a current estimated 47 million. The company reported that it had over 9.4 million GSM customers at the end of April in addition to around a million CDMA users.