India adds a record 7 million mobile users in June

The boom in India’s mobile telephony market continues, with the country adding a record 7.34 million new subscribers in June.

The monthly additions were the highest ever for the country, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said Wednesday, and followed the addition of 6.57 million new subscribers in May.

The total number of mobile subscribers in India at the end of June was 185.13 million, compared to 40 million [m] fixed-line subscribers, according to the TRAI, based in Delhi.

The country’s overall teledensity — the proportion of the population with access to a mobile or fixed-line phone — crept up to 19.86 percent in June, from 19.26 percent at the end of May.

Fixed-line phones did not contribute to the increase in teledensity, however, as the number of fixed-line subscribers has been declining over the last few months.

Gartner Inc. forecast earlier this month that India would have more than 462 million mobile connections by 2011.

New demand will come from rural areas, where service providers have started to offer low tariffs and handsets priced below US$25, it said. Mobile phones are also filling gaps in the country’s poorly developed fixed-line infrastructure.

Several phone vendors, including Nokia Corp., have started to make phones in India. Nokia launched a mobile handset earlier this year designed for use by rural communities.

Many people in rural areas are expected to use a community phone rather than have their own phone, because of the cost of the devices.

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