India to become second largest wireless network in world

Written by Corporate Bureau | New Delhi, Mar 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2008, 03:56am hrs
Continuing its growth momentum, the country is set to surpass US to become the second largest wireless network in the world with a subscriber base of over 300 million by April, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said on Monday.

During the first half of April 2008, Indias wireless subscriber base that currently stands at 250.93 million will surpass that of the US to become the second wireless network in the world, Trai said in a statement, adding that the countrys monthly wireless subscriber addition is highest in the world in the range of 8-9 million a month.

Currently, China is the worlds largest wireless network, adding around 6-7 million subscribers every month. This is far more than US, that has the current subscriber base of 256 million, which is adding about 2-3 million subscribers in a month, according to a US-based wireless operators association CTIA.

According to the figures released by Trai, with around 8.49 million telephone connections added in February as compared to 8.74 million in January, the countrys total number of telephone connections has now reached 290.11 million, as compared to 281.62 million in January. This has resulted in an overall tele-density of 25.31% at the end of February as against 24.63% in January. Moreover, the total subscriber base, including wireless and wire-line would also cross 300 million mark in April, it added.

In the wireless segment, 8.53 million subscribers have been added in the month of February as against 8.77 million subscribers added in January 2008, resulting in a total wireless subscriber (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base of 250.93 million at the end of last month.

However, in the wire-line segment, the subscriber base has slightly decreased to 39.18 million in February as compared to 39.22 million in January. Total broadband subscribers base has reached 3.47 million by the end of February 2008 as compared to 3.24 million by the end of January 2008, Trai said.