One out of every eight mobile phone subscribers in the world is in India already. Can you believe that? New data from global mobile industry body GSMA reveals that the number of mobile subscribers in India could shoot beyond 500 million this year, making it the second biggest mobile market after China. But the best is yet to come.
The data also stated that India would be the fastest growing mobile market in the world between now and the year 2020. This has got the clock ticking! “This contribution is forecast to almost double to 14 lakh crore by 2020, which would represent 8.2 percent of the projected GDP by that point,” GSMA Head of Asia Alasdair Grant told PTI. While indicating that 13 percent of the world’s mobile subscribers reside in India, the study throws light upon how the Indian mobile industry is rapidly tilting towards new mobile broadband networks, services and devices.
“India is a unique mobile market, and one where the mobile ecosystem is playing a hugely influential role in transforming the lives of its citizens, and driving economic growth,” said Alex Sinclair, Acting Director General and Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA. “The market is now rapidly migrating to mobile broadband technology, which is providing a platform for India to transform into a digitally empowered society and connect many millions of unconnected citizens to the internet over the coming years.”
As per a report published by telecom regulator TRAI, the unique user count of mobile phones was at around 453 million at the end of 2014 and it was expected to cross 500 million this year. Looks like this report by GSMA just validated this forecast. Network coverage and digital literacy have stood as constant barriers to further Internet accessibility in India’s rural and remote areas. But this new trend brings good news; it would become a key enabler of the government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative aimed at providing broadband connectivity to large sections of the unconnected population online.
With these new findings, tech startups definitely have something to keep an eye on. And it’s no wonder mobile startups minted US $2.2 billion in funding in the first three quarters of this year.