India touches 500 million telecom subscribers

New entrants in the market, a vicious price war, plunging stock prices of telecom companies, and now the Indian telecom subscribers have touched 500 million. We are indeed living in interesting times.

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Amidst the raging tariff war leading to telecom stocks getting hammered on the bourses, the country s total subscriber base crossed the 500-million mark in September, 15 month ahead of the targeted schedule of December, 2010.

According to figures released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Wednesday total telecom subscribers in the country increased to 509.03 million at the end of September from 494.07 million in August, registering a growth rate of 3.03%. With this tele-density has increased to 43.50% with wireless tele-density at 40.31. India is the second-biggest market for wireless services, lagging only China which has more than 600 million users, and is the fastest-growing market in the world.

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Mobile opearators led by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Essar and Tata Teleservices have been wooing the customers with innovative tariff packages in a market where call rates are already ruling at the rock bottom and is the main driver of the growth. New tariff plans such as per-second billing introduced by most of the operators are likely to see huge subscriber addition in the coming months.

News source: Yahoo

Pictures source: Vivek Mishra & IANS