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Telecom user base touches 429.

7 million

India's total telecom subscriber base touched 429.72 million for the quarter ending March taking the
teledensity up to 36.98 the Trai

said on Monday. This is against 384.79 million for the quarter ending December 2008, a 11.68%
increase. Wirelesssubscribers increased to 391.76 million (346.89 million) while wireline subscribers
increased to 37.96 million (37.90 million).

Rural wireline subscribers decreased by 0.93% to 10.58 million (10.68 million) while in contrast, rural
wireless subscribers grew 17.77% to 109.71 million (93.15 million).

The number of Public Call Offices (PCOs) also increased by 3.68% to 6.20 million (5.98 million). In
the GSM segment, the all India blended ARPU per month decreased 6.82% from Rs 220 in
December 2008 to Rs 205 in March 2009. ARPU for postpaid services declined 2.8% to Rs 543 (Rs
559) and 6% for prepaid services to Rs 181 (Rs 192).

For CDMA, the all India monthly blended ARPU dropped to Rs 99 (Rs 111). The huge difference
between postpaid and prepaid ARPU noticed in the last quarter remains valid for the current quarter
as well in the CDMA market. Postpaid ARPU was 5 times that of prepaid ARPU, which could be
attributed to declining importance of processing fee on recharge coupon/voucher purchased by
prepaid subscribers. Internet wireline subscribers grew 5.30% to 13.54 million (12.85 million) while
broadband subscribers (with a download speed of 256 Kbps or more) grew 12.68% to 6.22 million.

Indi an Telecom Services Worth $8.2B in Q1

India's service providers generated 404.4 billion Indian Rupees ($8.24 billion) in revenues during the
first three months of 2009, an increase of 2.6 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report
from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) .
India ended March this year with 391.76 million mobile lines and nearly 38 million fixed lines in
service, giving a total of nearly 430 million, and an overall teledensity of almost 37 percent.
(SeeIndia Sets Subs Record.)
The disparity between urban and rural coverage is clear in a breakdown of the country's teledensity
numbers. In urban areas, the teledensity stood at 88.66 percent at the end of March, while the rural
teledensity stood at 14.8 percent, perhaps explaining why some startup operators that have yet to
launch their services are focusing on rural areas. (See Batelco Ups Stake in India's S Tel.)
Of the country's mobile users, 297.3 million (75.9 percent) were using GSM services, while 94.5
million (24.1 percent) were on CDMA networks. The majority of the total mobile subscriber base --
282 million (72 percent) -- were in urban areas, while the remaining 109.7 million (28 percent) were
in rural areas.
The impact of fierce competition in the mobile services sector is hitting India's average revenue per
user (ARPU) numbers.
In the dominant GSM services sector, ARPU fell from INR220 ($4.49) in the previous quarter (to the
end of December 2008) to INR205 ($4.18) for the first quarter of this year, a decline of 6.8 percent.
In the CDMA sector, ARPU fell from INR111 ($2.26) to INR99 ($2.01), a decline of 10.9 percent.
In the still-struggling fixed broadband sector, DSL is the dominant technology. India had just 6.22
million broadband (downstream bandwidth of more than 256 Kbit/s) users at the end of March
2009, of which 5.36 million were DSL users and 474,000 were hooked up to a cable broadband
service. A further 244,000 were connected to an in-building Ethernet LAN, while 42,000 were lucky
enough to have a fiber-to-the-building connection.
To find out more about the Indian telecom market, which now has more than 415 million mobile
lines, according to the TRAI's figures for the end of May, check out our in-depth report, A Guide to
India's Telecom Market. (See BSNL Struggles for Subs in May.)

India's Rural Mobile Phone Users Hit 100


Million
ndia had 109.7 million rural mobile subscribers at the end of the first quarter, up by 18 percent from 93.2 million users
in the fourth quarter of last year, the country's telecom regulator said on Monday.

The country's 282 million urban wireless subscribers accounted for 72 percent of all mobile users at the end of the
first quarter, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

Indian mobile services companies and handset vendors have identified the rural market as a new growth opportunity,
as urban markets are getting saturated.

Nokia, for example, launched its Life Tools service in June, after a pilot project in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The
service offers agriculture information, education, and entertainment targeted at people in both rural areas and small
towns.

The rural market is however likely to be low margin business, Kamlesh Bhatia, a principal research analyst at
Gartner, said on Friday.

The number of mobile subscribers in the country is on the upswing with demand both from rural and urban markets.

The number of subscribers for mobile services across the country has increased to 391.76 million in the quarter
ended March this year, up by 50 percent from 261 million in the same quarter last year, according to TRAI data.

However competition and tariff cuts have brought down the average revenue per user, S.K. Gupta, advisor at TRAI,
said on Tuesday. ARPU has been going down in India since 2003.

Indian mobile service providers are focusing on value added services, including applications to boost revenue,
Gartner's Bhatia said.

A number of foreign mobile service providers have invested in joint ventures in India, including Vodafone and NTT
DoCoMo.

Tata Teleservices, which has NTT DoCoMo as an investor, has begun rolling out services across India under the Tata
DoCoMo brand. NTT DoCoMo said it plans to progressively bring to India new services such as its i-mode wireless
Internet service, location-based services, and mobile payment.