Telecom services industry grew 15 percent in 2010-11


New Delhi : In the midst of scams involving award of 2G spectrum coming to light last year, the Indian telecom services industry grew almost 15 percent to post revenues of Rs.166,168 crore in 2010-11, up from the previous fiscal’s Rs.144,600 crore, according to a survey released Sunday.

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Telecom services revenue includes revenue from cellular, fixed line, broadband and VSAT services.

The cellular or mobile services market, the largest among all the communication services offered in the country, saw revenues rise 16.6 percent to cross the Rs.100,000 crore revenue milestone, according to a survey conducted by leading telecom industry journal Voice&Data.

At end of the financial year 2010-11, revenues from this segment had grown to Rs,102,230 crore from Rs.87,680 crore a year before.

Fixed lines and revenues, the only significant means of telecommunications until the mid 1990s, continued to decline both in terms of number of connections and revenues. It grossed earnings of Rs.11,602 crore, a decline of 15.6 percent year-on-year.

During the year under review, the number of active subscribers crossed 501 million even as the number of SIM cards swelled to 812 million.

“Even though the telecom regulator reported India’s mobile subscription base at 812 million, that number includes a large base of inactive subscriptions. This includes those who are in the grace period after their SIM validity has lapsed, with them having not charged their SIM cards for months or even years,” said the survey.

Commenting on the way ahead for the telecom industry as it struggles to deliver in an ever evolving policy environment, Ibrahim Ahmad, group editor of Voice&Data said, “the recent tariff hike will help the industry invest in telecom infrastructure that delivers better customer experience through improved quality of service”.

Three mobile operators — Bharti, Reliance and Vodafone — now boast of a subscriber base of over 100 million each.

Broadband services saw revenues grow 22.4 percent to Rs.6,846 crore, but the industry as a whole failed to achieve the government’s target of 20 million broadband connections by 2010, ending with just 11.87 million subscribers for the fiscal ended March 31.