India, the second largest telecom market in the world, derives its growth in subscriber base from the otherwise underdeveloped states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, a survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) suggests.
According to an Assocham state-wise analysis of mobile subscription released Tuesday, Bihar registered the maximum increase in annual telecom subscribers, marking a growth of 88.2 per cent in the fiscal 2007-08 as compared to the 51.1 per cent in 2006-07.
The total number of mobile phones in Bihar increased from 57,73,370 in 2006-07 to 108,69,459 in 2007-08.
Bihar was followed by Madhya Pradesh, which saw mobile phone users increase from 66,82,326 in 2005-06 to 124,91,306 in 2007-08. West Bengal registered an increase of 86.1 per cent in the subscriber volumes from 84.4 per cent in 2006-07. In volume terms, it increased from 5040111 in FY 2006-07 to 9381095 in the previous fiscal.
“While the metropolitan cities have reached their saturation point, the next phase of telecom growth in India is being driven by sub-urban places of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa,” Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said.
According to the Assocham analysis, keeping aside Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, smaller centres have registered an upsurge, thanks to the major players entering into the unexplored markets, growing middle class, low tariffs and economic mobile handsets.