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New Report Maps Out Indian Market

As the Indian telecom market heads into another year of dramatic growth, a new report from Light Reading has charted the country’s service provider landscape by identifying the country’s fixed and mobile carriers and the service areas, or “circles,” in which they operate. (See A Guide to India's Telecom Operators.)

India, a country of more than 1.1 billion people, had nearly 273 million telephone connections at the end of 2007, of which nearly 234 million were mobile and about 39 million were across a fixed line. Those customers were shared by 13 carriers, seven of which provide fixed as well as mobile services.

And while the country’s fixed line market is actually shrinking at present -- in 2007 the number of fixed connections fell by 2.3 million -- the mobile market is growing like wildfire, adding 84 million customers in 2007 and ramping up by a further 8 million subscribers each month at present.

At that rate, India will end 2008 with more than 330 million mobile subscribers.

With that rate of growth set to increase as new entrants join the market and as more spectrum becomes available, it’s even more important that companies both in and outside India have a clear perspective of the market, its players, and its landscape.

That’s what the new report provides, by listing the carriers, identifying the country’s service “circles” (in table and color map formats), and explaining which operators are licensed to provide service in each of India’s 23 circles.

The report identifies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) as the largest carrier overall by number of subscribers with 69.6 million -- 38 million wireless subscriptions and 31.6 million fixed line connections -- and Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) as the second largest, with 59.6 million subscribers -- 57.4 million wireless and 2.2 million fixed line customers.

Check out the six-page report by clicking on this link.

— The Staff, Light Reading

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