India’s mobile phone market has become the fastest growing in the world, with Indians adding nearly six million new connections every month. As Anjana Pasricha of VoA reports from New Delhi, much of the growth is among low-income consumers.
Telecom companies are going all out to woo such customers, offering them deals that make cell phones affordable for even those who earn as little as $125 a month.
Handsets are available for $45. Users can buy new pre-paid phone cards for less than 50 cents. Companies offer consumers the option of paying one lifetime fee of about $25, and never having to pay for incoming calls again.
As a result, low-income, self-employed people like maids, cooks, taxi drivers, plumbers, and construction workers are snapping up mobiles at a frantic pace. Six million new connections are being added every month. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India says this is the fastest pace in the world.
Two hundred fifty million people now have mobile phones in India. The government expects that number to double by 2010.