News From Telecom World

Rural Teledensity touched double digit in India

Posted on: October 27, 2008

Urban teledensity in the country increased to about 30 per cent in August 2008, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja said here on Thursday.

The teledensity – the number of telephones per 100 persons in an area – was less than 1 per cent in 1986-87, he said at the inauguration ceremony of a Nokia Siemens facility at SIPCOT’s Oragadam Electronic Hard Ware SEZ. In the United States, the teledensity is 60 per cent.

“Rural teledensity has also touched double digits now. There has been a noticeable transformation in the technology from wireline to wireless. Wireless phones, which did not exist in 1986-87, have a share of 88 per cent in the total telephone connections in the country at the end of August 2008,” he said. So far, around 88 million phones have been provided in rural areas with a teledensity of around 11 per cent. Efforts were being made under USO Fund to strengthen infrastructure for providing wireless phone services in rural and remote areas. “It is now proposed to achieve rural teledensity of 25 per cent by means of 200 million rural connections at the end of 11th Plan,” he said.

The Indian telecommunications network, with over 344 million connections, is the third largest in the world and the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia. India now has the second largest mobile subscriber base in the world, next only to China. “Three years ago, a target of 250 million telephone subscribers by 2007 was considered too ambitious. The sector, however, achieved this milestone much before the targeted date. With the current pace, when about eight million telephones are being added every month, the target of 500 million connections by 2010 is well within our reach,” he said.

The projected growth has led to a rise in demand for a wide range of telecom equipment, particularly in mobile communication. This has provided ample opportunities to foreign and domestic investors in the manufacturing sector.

“Today, all major global telecom majors like Vodafone, Nokia, Nokia Siemens, Alcatel, LG, Ericsson have their manufacturing bases in India. By the end of 2012, a total of 600 million connections have been envisaged, which would necessitate an estimated requirement for equipment worth USD 73 billion during next five years. Majority of investment is expected to be realised through FDI,” he said.

Source: The Hindu


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