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'India: The second fastest growing telecom market'

'India: The second fastest growing telecom market'

With prices of mobile phones coming down and disposable incomes going up, people are changing handsets quite often.

Bangalore: Mobile phones are fast moving beyond their primary role of voice communication and becoming multi-tasking devices as the number of wireless subscribers in the country totals 89.2 crore, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said today.

With prices of mobile handsets coming down and disposable incomes going up, people are changing handsets quite often. India now ranks as the second fastest growing telecom markets in the world after China with 59.1 crore users in urban areas and 30.1 crore in rural, the industry body said in a statement.

Mobile phones are no longer used only for staying in contact with others but have become devices to provide a host of entertainment options, according to a ASSOCHAM survey in six major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. A total of 1,370 responses were gathered from people in the age group of 20 to 30 years.

Nearly 39 per cent of them said they switch to a new phone in less than two years for new applications. The findings suggest that friends are the single most important source of information while purchasing a handset. "The telecom industry must understand the importance of referrals. Manufacturers should try to associate themselves with events and causes which help in brand recognition," said ASSOCHAM secretary general D.S. Rawat.

The brand influenced first purchase of a handset with 39 per cent of respondents, price with 17 per cent and availability of the latest model with over 10 per cent. But for second purchase, quality ranked on top with 15 per cent respondents.

first published:October 30, 2011, 11:01 IST