When most sectors are bearing the brunt of the global economic slowdown, India's telecom industry is continuing with its high growth saga, thanks to the expanding subscriber base in rural areas. Last month, India saw the highest number of subscriber additions, 15.87 million — about three times the population of countries like Finland, Denmark and Singapore.
A majority of the numbers were from the rural market, with the urban market becoming more or less saturated. The mobile handset replacement market and the switch from landline telephony to mobile telecom have also been a driving force for such robust growth. The country, which already boasts the second-largest telecom user base in the world after China and ahead of the US, now has 429.72 million telecom subscribers in both the wireless and mobile segments, with a record growth of 59.48 percent last fiscal year. According to the industry watchdog, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the overall tele-density in the country reached 36.98% at the end of March 2009.