CDG Press Releases
CDMA2000 OPERATORS IN INDIA WITNESS ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING MONTH IN SUBSCRIBER GROWTH
2.05 Million CDMA Subscribers Added in October 2006; Cumulative CDMA Subscriber Base in India Reaches 40.5 Million
COSTA MESA , CALIF. - November 27, 2006 — The CDMA Development Group (CDG) (www.cdg.org) today announced that CDMA2000® operators in India have added another record breaking 2.05 million net subscribers for the month of October. This brings the total number of CDMA wireless subscribers in India to 40.5 million. CDMA2000 now accounts for nearly 30 percent of the total wireless subscriber base in the country. Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices continue to lead the market with a combined 38.3 million subscribers.
For the first time, quarterly net subscriber additions in India exceeded thos e in China in the third quarter of 2006, even though the Chinese figure itself reached a record high. With wireless penetration still at a low 13.7% in India, both Reliance and Tata are preparing themselves to capture a significant portion of this accelerated growth going forward. India’s CDMA customer base grew by 125% between September 2005 and September 2006, outperforming the GSM base, which saw a 79% increase in the same period. Also, within the past three years, 44% of the public call office (PCO) market, consisting of over 2 million lines, has been captured by CDMA operators. The average revenue per user of a PCO phone is about 4-5 times more than that of a mobile user.
Last summer, Tata Teleservices announced a $540 million network investment over the next 12 months, which will include the nationwide expansion of CDMA2000 services.
Since January 2006, Tata has averaged more than half a million new subscribers per
month. In October, they added over 950,000 subscribers, just shy of the 1.06 million subscribers added by Reliance. The carrier attributes this success to its large retail network and attractive service plans, which include free incoming calls. Tata also has witnessed strong uptake of its wide selection of low- and high-end devices, many of which support BREW ®, Java TM, and Windows Mobile ® small business, enterprise and consumer applications.
“The CDG is pleased to see the unprecedented growth in wireless telecommunications in India,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. “CDMA2000’s superior performance and unbeatable economics have created healthy competition within India’s wireless communications industry. As new 3G spectrum becomes available, we expect the level of competition to increase. India’s consumers will become the benefactors and the introduction of mobile broadband services will help strengthen the economy.”
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced their 3G spectrum allocation and assignment recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) , through a Press Conference on September 28 th. The CDG welcomed the 3G spectrum allocation recommendations submitted by the TRAI for DoT’s approval. Recommending the allocation and assignment of 3G spectrum in the 450 MHz, 800 MHz, and 2100 MHz frequency bands will benefit India, its burgeoning telecommunications industry, and its consumers. It is consistent with the fair and transparent manner in which such spectrum is allocated and assigned in other markets that place a premium on taking a holistic approach towards allocating this scarce commodity and national resource.
The CDG agrees with the recommended principles of using spectrum efficiently, ensuring technology and service neutrality, and establishing a level playing field. These principles will lead to increased competition, further growth, and more affordable services for India’s consumers. These universally accepted principles should be applied to both 2G and 3G spectrum allocations and assignments in India.
In most all growth markets, operators eventually deploy spectrally efficient air interface technologies, like 3G, to support the increased demand for voice and high-speed data services from their consumers and enterprise customers. These services require large amounts of bandwidth to ensure sufficient capacity, data throughput, and a satisfactory end-user experience. CDMA2000 has at least a two-to-three year lead over other wireless technologies in delivering these important services.
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