India adding seven million Telephone subscribers every month

‘India has the fastest growing telecom sector and is adding more than seven million subscribers every month . The country has registered almost 250 million subscribers three months ahead of the target date,’ A.Raja, Minister of Communications and Information Technology said on Tuesday.Raja was speaking at Curtain Raiser Ceremony of India Telecom-2007 in Delhi .

A.Raja said that in the past decade, the Indian telecom sector has gone through a total transformation.

‘The growth momentum has shifted in a big way to small towns and rural areas. What lies ahead is far greater and far tougher than the road that travelled so far’ A.Raja said.

A.Raja said that while we have been keeping pace with the latest technological advances in telecommunications, the indigenous value addition in our networks has been on a much lower side. A close look, however, reveals that we are far from reaping the benefits of the potential that exists. Rapidly changing technology along with a liberalised import regime has led to a situation where most of the equipment is currently imported. While the increasing size of Indian telecom market has encouraged most of the global telecom players to set up their manufacturing facilities in India, there is certainly a lot of scope to adopt the technology and undertake further indigenous value addition to meet the day to day need of the common man and India specific requirements.

In such a situation, setting up of these Centers of Excellence was long overdue. Therefore, we have put them in place in a record time of only 9 months, Shri Raja said. These COEs being established in Public Private Partnership mode at the top most academic institutions of the country are needed to embolden the R&D efforts and enhance the much needed talent pool. COEs can play a catalytic role in our endeavours. It would be good idea for these COEs to develop telecom and IT solutions for rural areas of India at an affordable price, the Minister said. Two MoUs were signed today in this regard. The first between IIM Ahmedabad, IDEA and DoT and the second between IIT Kharagpur, Vodafone Essar and DoT.

The India Telecom 2007 Conference is scheduled to be held from December 12 to 15, 2007 at New Delhi.

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