The pre-diwali subscription addition is showing no signs of slow down. Most of the additions were in the Cellular category with Wireless in Local Loop(WLL – something very popular in the Indian Convergence story) securing second place ahead of Land lines. 37.9 lakh new connections were added for month ending Novermber compared to 32.4 lakhs and 28.5 lakhs in October and September respectively. The total tally is skewed towards cell phone subscribes, with 7.1 Crores and land line subscribers at 4.9 crores. The tele-density is now at 11% and operatrors expect more growth as they move interior to remote towns and villages. DOT has set an ambitious yet achievable target of 25 crore subscribers by the end of 2007.
To achieve this growth, Indian convergence service providers must scale up their infrastructure investments as well. They have spent Rs50,000 crores in 2004 and Rs57,000 crores in 2005 and are expected to spend Rs70,000 crores in 2006. This explains why CISCO and Intel are not only investing agressively in Indian centers but are also buying smaller Indian firms in the digital convergence arena. Is the convergence market shifting to the east ?