The Indian mobile subscriber base is likely to sustain the rapid growth recorded in the past few years. Presence of skilled labour pool, improving telecom infrastructure, favourable demographics, rising disposable incomes of consumers, declining tariffs, increasing demand, growing attraction for mobiles with new features and greater availability of handsets at lower prices, are expected to continue driving the growth of the telecom sector, going forward.
India’s growth story lies in the immense potential of its growing domestic consumption, its ‘demographic dividend’ and its burgeoning middle class, which is an opportunity for retail products and services.
Reach beyond cities, to rural areas across India, is the clear driver of business.
The government has proposed to achieve a rural tele-density of 25% by deploying 200 mn-connections at the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan, given that more than 70% of the population lives in villages.
During the Eleventh Five Year Plan period, Rs 2,670 bn worth of investments are projected to be made in the telecom industry and the public sector is expected to have a 33.50% share in the same, while the private sector is expected to contribute 66.50%. Further, a total of 650 mn connections (including 66 mn wired and 584 mn wireless connections) are expected to be achieved by the end of 2012.
The urban tele-density at 154 per cent is far ahead of the rural tele-density of 34 per cent. While this spells opportunity for the industry.
The telecom industry will provide about 28 lakh direct jobs and around 70 indirect jobs by 2012, the study commissioned by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and done by PwC .