BSNL aims to provide services to 66,872 villages by Nov 07

Our Bureau

Chennai, Sept. 8

The mobile subscriber base can grow by six to seven million additions per month if content developers can provide content in regional languages, according to Mr Vijay Madan, Executive Director, Centre for Development of Telematics.

Speaking at a session on `World Class Telecom Services: India Success Story' at Connect 2006 here on Friday, he said that the current growth rate about 5 million a month could easily be surpassed.

Mr Parijat Chakravarthy, Manager, User and Communications Research, International Data Corporation, agreed, saying that the use of value-added services (VAS) is seeing a yearly growth of 43 per cent and this is what would drive the market.

Mr A.K. Sinha, Chairman, BSNL, said that rural teledensity currently stands at 1.85. He said that BSNL would be targeting to provide services to 66,872 villages progressively up to November 2007.

While the main theme of the session remained rural telephony, Mr K. Krishnan, Joint President, Bharti Airtel Ltd, spoke about the global capacity of the Indian telecom infrastructure, saying that the growth of IT and ITeS services has seen India's virtual proximity to US and UK improve several fold.

Mr Jagdish Mitra, Head, CanvasM Technologies Ltd, said that the growth of the industry is dependent on the telecom software solution providers. He said that as long as software providers continue to provide either lower cost solutions or provide solutions that offer value adds in VAS, the growth will continue as it has. He said that the telecom-software market in India is booming, with several software companies providing solutions to a lot of global players.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 9, 2006)
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