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India: World’s fastest growing mobile market September 16, 2006

Posted by Jasper in Mobile.
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According to the Cellular Operators Association of India, the country added 5.9 million subscribers last month, topping China’s total of 5.2 million. That makes India the world’s fastest-growing mobile market. Not surprisingly, this is putting a strain on quality of service.

About half a dozen major mobile operators and several smaller ones cover less than half of India’s population. Most coverage is centered in big cities. Operators have yet to venture out to many villages to reach the rural population of 660 million. But I suspect they are not in a hurry too, because of a poor and spotty infrastructure and a very limited ability to pay (although sources suggest India has cheap calling rates).

With 123 million subscribers now, similar growth rates in the coming months will easily project the number of subscribers above the 130 million mark by the end of this year. No doubt someone could sell a lot of secondhand handsets from European markets to the Indians.

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