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97% Indians would own a mobile by 2014

A research firm says that CAGR for mobile handset subscribers in India will reach 18.6% from 2009 to 2014.

The number of mobile phone connections in 2014 is expected to be more than 97 per cent of India’s population of 1.26 billion.
By the end of this year, total mobile subscriptions are projected to reach 766.0 million, 45.9 per cent higher than the 525.1 million subscribers counted at the end of 2009, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.
It says that with about 19 million new subscribers added each month during the first four months of 2010 alone, India’s wireless subscription rate is going at a rapid clip. Subscriber numbers will continue to increase during the next four years, topping the 1 billion mark by 2012.
Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for wireless research, iSuppli, says, “Such high mobile teledensity means that almost everyone, except children and the abjectly poor, will have a cell phone in India, with those having multiple mobiles boosting total subscription rates and compensating for those without.”
The compound annual growth rate for mobile handset subscribers in India will reach 18.6 per cent from 2009 to 2014, the research company says. Driving this growth will be the expansion of the rural Indian market, where entry-level handsets are most popular.
“A key trend in 2009 was the shift in focus of service providers and handset manufacturers toward the countryside, which continues to offer significant and untapped market opportunity. In comparison, the urban market, which accounts for only 30 per cent of the country’s population but represents almost 70 per cent of telecom subscribers is close to saturation,” Rebello says.
iSuppli also says that with telecom operators upgrading and expanding existing networks, spending on India’s wireless infrastructure equipment market in 2010 will reach $10.8 billion, up 29.7 per cent from $8.3 billion last year.
By 2011, network infrastructure spend will rise to more than $11 billion, mainly due to the rollout of WiMAX and 3G. The launch of technology in the fourth quarter of 2010 is also expected to significantly boost the sales of smart phones in the country, iSuppli’s research shows.

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