350 mln mobile subscribers in India by 2010

The Diffusion Group said the number of mobile subscribers in India is expected to grow from just over 100 mln today to more than 350 mln by 2010, an addition of 250 mln subscribers in just four years. Despite 12 years of deregulation, the number of fixed-line telecom subscribers has increased less than 15% in the last three years (from 41.5 mln to 47.5 mln, most of which has been confined to urban areas). In India, the cost of installing new fixed lines is roughly three times the price of installing a mobile line. As of early 2006, about 50% of all the towns and villages in India could receive a mobile signal. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has set a goal to reach 90% coverage by the end of 2006.