India next to top dog in world wireless market

Bangalore, August 8:

Thanks to rapid growth mobile telephony over the last three years, India is now the second-largest wireless market globally, says a World Bank study. The number of wireless subscribers in India has reached 250 million, says the study, ‘Role of Mobile Phones in Sustainable Rural Poverty Reduction’.

Authored by Asheeta Bhavnani, Rowena Won-Wai Chiu, Subramaniam Janakiram and Peter Silarszky, it says India is now second only to China, with tele-density already surpassing the 25 per cent mark. Currently, China is adding about six to seven million new subscribers per month, India about eight to nine million and the US about two to three million, it notes.

It argues that mobile telephony has a positive impact on economic welfare by generating GDP; job generation and productivity and taxation revenue grow.

In 2006, US-based telecom, IT services and software research firm Ovum reported the mobile telephony sector contributed $3.6 billion per year in import duties, licence fees, spectrum fees, and taxation revenues in India.