The Indian cellular industry has reached a major milestone in registering more than 10 million subscribers.
The subscriber base, which stood at 97.3 lakh in November, has crossed the milestone, with BSNL alone adding more than 3 lakh users this month. This represents more than 85 per cent growth over the last years’ subscriber base of 54 lakh.
With the subscriber base growing by over 80 per cent over the last couple of years the number is expected to touch the 40 million mark by 2005.
However, with the onslaught from WLL limited mobility players offering much cheaper tariffs, cellular firms are not too upbeat about achieving the projected numbers.
The entry of fourth cellular operator including Bharti, Hutchison and Idea Cellular has kept the month on month additions over 3 lakh users. Declining tariffs have also added to the service being more affordable for the consumers.
State owned BSNL ‘s cellular brand ‘CellOne’ was also launched this year to cover 850 cities across the country. The PSU would cover all district centres by 1st April, 2003. Since its launch in October the PSU is estimated to have crossed 7 lakh subscribers.
The government is also planning to start mobile telephone services in Jammu and other parts of Kashmir very soon.