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500 Million Mobile Subscribers by 2010 in India

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With the introduction of 3G spectrum, India, the second largest mobile market in the world, is likely to take its mobile base to 500 million by the year 2010, with an average growth of 10 million new subscribers each month. India currently has 320 million mobile phone subscribers.

Siddhartha Behura, Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, further disclosed during the Industry Summit on '3G: The Next Wave' that the 3G auction is scheduled to be held in January 2009 by the independent auctioneer, N.M. Rothschild, and the process of allotment of spectrum will be completed before February 2009.

According to Behura, the government would now focus on providing affordable broadband, especially to sub-urban rural communities. He also highlighted the urgency to extend services like e-medicine, e-education and e-governance to the rural areas. These services are presently accessible for the urban community and are quite critical to the rural population and can be provided through broadband kind of services.

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