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home  > about india index > indian telecom statistics

India telecom & IT statistics, facts and figures

Following are various stats, facts and figures on telecommunication and the internet in India , picked out of newspapers (mainly Hindustan Times), magazines (mainly India Today), the BBC and various sources on the web. These figures are not meant to be comprehensive lists, but rather statistical trivia or factual snippets. For basic general facts and figures about India as well as several Indian states, please see the Quick Reference popups on the right hand side of this page, or go to the main page of India statistics, facts and figures . For a full list of links to our statistics pages, see the About India index or the bottom of the right navigation bar on this page.

The stats on this page are divided into following sections:
   Stats on e-commerce and online shopping
   Stats on mobile phones
   Mobile gaming, music, SMS, MMS etc
   Data on mobile performance / quality / congestion
   Statistics on Internet in India
   Facts on telephony in India (mobile & fixed line)
   Figures on Indian fixed line connections

Lines marked with an asterisk (*) are recently added entries.

 stats on e-commerce and online shopping
 - estimated value of total e-commerce market (end 2005): 1,180 crore (11.8 billion) Rs
   [HT; Jan 2006]
 - * projected growth in online transactions in two years:
300%
   (2004-05: Rs 570 crore (73m GBP) -- 2006-07: Rs 2,300 crore (295m GBP) ) [DNA Jul 06]
 - * percentage of internet users who buy train tickets online: almost 30% [DNA Jul 06]
 - * most common payment method for online shoppers: 38% credit card --
   32% cash on delivery [DNA Jul 06]
 - * credit/debit card users in India: approx 40 million [DNA Jul 06] 
 - * value of the online matchmaking industry: financial year (FY) 2006-07:
   expected 90crore Rs (11.5m GBP) -- FY 2005-06: estimated 58 crore Rs
   (7.4m GBP) [EI Jan 07]
 - * number of marriages performed in India: 1 crore (10 million) [EB Jan 07]
 - * total registration base of India's biggest online matrimonial portal shaadi.com:
   9.1 million [EI Jan 07]
 - * number of yearly registrations for online matrimonial portal shaadi.com:
   fiscal 2007-08: expected 11.2 million -- 2005-06: 6.2 million [EI Jan 07]
 - * number of reported marriages through shaadi.com: 7.2 lakh people
   (720,000) [GG Jan 07]
 - * total registration to online matrimonial portal to Bharatmatrimony.com
   over the years:
nearly 9 million [EI Jan 07]
 - * number of yearly registrations for online matrimonial portal
   Bharatmatrimony.com:

   2006-07: expected 2.5 million -- 2005-06: 1.5 million [EI Jan 07]
 - * percentage of internet users that search for a spouse online: 12% according
   to online survey by JuxtConsult research firm [DNA Sep 05]
  more general marriage and matchmaking stats under economy

 - turnover in online shopping between Dussehra and Diwali 2005 (13/10 - 03/11/05):
  
Rs 115 crore (excluding travel related transactions) [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - turnover in online shopping between Dussehra and Diwali 2004: Rs 53 crore
   excluding travel related transactions) [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - number of e-commerce transactions between Dussehra and Diwali: 2005: 810,000
   online sales -- 2004: 345,000 online sales (excl travel related) [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - total online shopping revenue 2004: Rs 570 crore (of this 63% travel related)
   [ConSu; Nov 2005]
   more on IT and outsourcing on Economy stats page
 
 stats on mobile phones

 - * number of mobile subscribers country-wide: Dec 2006: 129.5 million [Jan 2007] --
   Jul 2006: 111 million -- estimate for end 2008: 300 million [DNA Aug 06] --
  Dec 2005: 76 million [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - Indian population owning a mobile phone: Dec 2006: 13% [DNA Jan 2007] --
   Dec 2005: 8 % [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - * average minutes of calls made by a mobile subscriber: 2006: 300 minutes per
   month, of that 10-15% in STD calls [DNA Oct 06] -- or a somewhat contradictory
   figure for 2005: 330 minutes per year [HBL; Sep 2005]
 - * world's highest monthly mobile subscriber increase, Summer 2006: India,
   with 7 million new mobile subscribers every month [DNA Sep 06]
 - * increase of mobile subscriber base between Apr-Aug 2006: 19% [DNA Aug 06]
 - growth in cell phone market 2000-2005: almost 2,700% [HBL; Sep 2005]
 - previous average new mobile phone connections per month: Jan 2006: 3 million
   [PhysOrg; Jan 2006] -- Apr to Sep 2005: 13 million [Sify; Oct 2005]
 - previous number of mobile phone subscribers in India: 1995: 0.077 mil --
   2000:3.6 mil -- 2002: 6.4 mil [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - growth in mobile phone market for 2003-2004: 89 % [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - government target for mobile phone subscriptions: 200 million by 2007 [BSNL;
   Jan 2006]
 - * market share of major mobile providers in India end of August 2006:
   Bharti Airtel: 20.8% -- Reliance Communications: 20.1% -- BSNL: 18.2% [DNA Sep 06]
 - * net profits in last quarter of 2006 of Bharti Airtel (India's largest private
   phone company):
12.1 bn Rs (138m GBP); compared to 5.44 bn Rs for the
   previous year [BBC Jan 07]
 - * increase of subscription base (telecom) in 2006 of Bharti Airtel: 92 % [BBC Jan 07]
 - * increase of value of Bharti Airtel share within last quarter of 2006: 34 percent
   [BBC Jan 07]
 - * number of Bharti Airtel mobile towers / masts: 30,000 (with an additional 10,000
   planned) [DNA Jan 07]
 - * number of mobile subscribers by Hutch: 22 million [DNA Dec 06]
 - mobile tele-density in India = number of mobile phones per 100 inhabitants:
   1991: 0 -- 2002: 0.65 -- 2004: 3.16 -- 2005: 4.83 (mid 2005) [FL; Aug 2005]
 - mobile phone penetration (mobile subscribers in proportion to total telephones):
   1995: 0.6 % -- 2002: 14.6 % [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - combined customer base of all 9 GSM carriers in India: 58.5 million in Dec 2005
   (GSM: Global System for Mobile communication) [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - number of new GSM customers: Nov 2005: 2.3 million -- Dec 2005: 3.2 million
   [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - average revenue per user (ARPU) per year: 9.04 USD (CDMA 5.74 USD --
   GSM 8.89 USD) (GSM = Global System for Mobile communication;
   CDMA = Code Division Multiple Access) [HBL; Sep 2005]
 - Indian land area covered by mobile networks: approx 30% [Sify; Jan 2006]


 
 mobile gaming, music, SMS, MMS etc
 - number of prayers sent by text message to Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai:
   more than 10,000 SMS within a week of start of SMS prayer service [BSNL; Jan 2006]
 - percentage of mobile subscribers using MMS (Multi Media Messaging):
   pre-paid: 27% -- post paid: 37 % [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - number of game downloads onto mobiles: 0.45 million per month [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - mobile phone owners who use mobile games: 5 % [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - mobile data users who play games on mobile every month: almost 32 %
   [BSNL; Dec 2005]
 - prognosis for growth in Indian mobile gaming market: growth of 700 % by 2010
   to annual revenues of 200 million USD [BSNL; Dec 2005]
 - mobile users who would prefer music from their mobile: 26 % [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - mobile owners actually listening to music on their mobile: 9 % [ConSu; Nov 2005
   - * amount of digital music revenue: over Rs 400 crore (approx 73m Euro) [DNA May 06]
 - * percentage of digital music revenues from the mobile sector: 85% [DNA May 06]
 
 data on mobile performance / quality / congestion
 - TRAI parameters for congestion limits: 1 call out of 200 between two operators
   is permitted to encounter congestion problems [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - numbers of cities in which mobile congestion is above regulatory limit: 404
   [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - numbers of cities in which mobile congestion is more than 10 percent of
   regulatory limit:
200 [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - mobile operators not meeting performance parameters 2005: 5 (out of 11)
   [PhysOrg; Jan 2006]
 - spectrum allocated by India's Department of Telecom (DoT) to mobile operators:
   4.4 MHz for GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) --
   2.5 MHz for CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) [PhysOrg; Jan 2006]
 - global average of spectrum allocated to mobile operators: 20 MHz for GSM --
   10 MHz for CDMA [PhysOrg; Jan 2006]
 
 statistics on Internet in India
 - * number of broadband connections: Dec 2006: 2 million --
   Sep 2006: 1.7 million [DNA Sep, Dec 06]
 - * expected number of broadband connections by end of 2007: 9 million
   (according to Communication and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran) [DNA Dec 06]
 - * internet subscriber-to-user ratio: 1:10 according to Nasscom estimate [DNA Jul 06]
 - * number of people using the internet: 70 million according to estimate by
   Nasscom or 39 million according to Google India director [DNA Jul 06]
 - previous numbers of Internet users in India: 1992: 1,000 -- 1995: 250,000 --
   1999: 2.8 mil -- 2000: 5.0 mil [v2020; Apr 2003] --
   2004: 25 million -- Nov 2005: 38.5 million [HT, Jan 2006]
 - number of internet subscribers in India (end 2005): 6.13 million [ID; Jan 2006]
 - target of high-speed Internet users by end of 2005: 3 million (not achieved)
   [IndiaDaily; Jan 2006]
 - * internet penetration in March 2006 (internet users, not necessarily subscribers):
   4.5% of India's population [DNA Apr 06]
 - * market share of BSNL for broadband subscriber base: about 50% [DNA Dec 06]
 - price for BB (available from): 199 Rs per month [HT; Jan 2006]
 - Internet users per 100 inhabitants: 2004: 1.5 [GTF; 2005] --
  2001: 0.68 [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - number of travel related web searches by Indians during xmas & New Year
   period 2005:
8 million, estimate [Business Standard, Dec 2005]
 - percentage of Internet users who access government services via internet:
   2001: 22 % -- 2002: 31 % [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - PC availability per 100 inhabitants in 2004: 1.2 [GTF; 2005]
 - number of computers in India: 1992: 0.4 million -- 1995: 1.2m -- 1999: 3.3m --
   2000: 4.6m [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - number of internet cafes in India: 105,000 [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - number of jobs created in Internet cafes: 600,000 estimate [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - annual growth in cybercafe market in India: 45 % (average over past 5 years)
   [ConSu; Nov 2005]
 - estimated number of computerised bank branches: 12,000 (out of a total of 45,000)
   [v2020; Apr 2003]
 
 facts on telephony in India (mobile & fixed line)
 - * countrywide total tele-density (mobile & fixed): Jul 2006: 14.40
   (tele-density: phone subscribers per 100 people) [DNA Aug 06]
  compared to 1991: 0.6 --    2002: 4.48 -- 2004: 7.17 -- 2005: 9.80 according to TRAI
   (TRAI = Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) [FL; Aug 2005] or:
   1991: 0.6 -- 2002: 3.75 -- 2004: less than 5 according to the ITU
   (ITU = International Telecommunication Union) [FL; Aug 2005]
 - number of total new phone connections in 2005: 32 million (includes mobile +
   fixed line) [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - average new phone connections (mobile + fixed line) per month: around 5 million,
   majority in mobile [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - percentage of phone users within the population: 11.43 % [IndiaDaily; Jan 2006]
 - largest telecom operator in India: BSNL with 60 million subscribers [Sify; Jan 2006]
 
 figures on Indian fixed line connections
 - * number of fixed line connections: Jul 2006: 47.4 million [DNA Aug 06]
 - * increase of fixed line connections between Apr-Aug 2006: 1.2% [DNA Aug 06]
 - * demographics of fixed landlines: 70% of fixed lines in urban areas [DNA Jul 06]
 - * average minutes of calls made by a fixed line user: 1,000 minutes per month,
   of that 20% in STD calls [DNA Oct 06]
 - previous number of fixed telephone line users 2005:
49 million [Sify; Jan 2006]
 - previous number of fixed telephone lines: 1995: 12.0 million -- 2001: 34.7 million
   [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - number of new fixed telephone lines December 2005: 460,000 [IndiaDaily; Jan 2006]
 - number of telephone lines per telecom staff: 1991: 15.6 -- 1999: 63.0
   [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - annual growth of operational telephone lines: 19.4 % during 1995-2000
   [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - fixed line tele-density in India = number of main telephone lines per 100
   inhabitants:
1991: 0.6 -- 2002: 3.83 -- 2005: 4.25 [FL; Aug 2005]
 - number of main villages covered by telephone network 2001: 0.4 million (of
   0.6 million main villages in total) [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - number of main villages covered by private sector telephone network 2001: 718
   (the rest covered by public sector) [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - percentage of digital main telephone lines: 1995: 87 % -- 1999: 99.8 %
   [v2020; Apr 2003]
 - number of PCOs (Public Call Offices): 1993: 0.2 million -- 2001: 0.9 million
   [v2020; Apr 2003]
 
[Back to Top]
data sources & key:
AT: Asia Times, BBC: BBC online, BRIT: Britannica 2002, BSNL: BSNL Telecom Trends, BSt: Business Standard, CIA: CIA Factbook India, CIN: censusindia.net, CNEI: Chandigarh Newsline, c/net: c/net news, ConSu: Content Sutra DI: Daily India, DNA: DNA India, EB: EquityBull, EI: ExpressIndia, EW: EconomyWatch, FE: Financial Express, FL: Frontline, GG: Gujarat Global, GTF: Global Technology Forum, GBoWR: Guinness Book of World Records, HT: Hindustan Times, ID: IndiaDaily, IInfoLine: India InfoLine IND: The Independent, ITo: India Today, NPBS: Nature PBS, PhO: PhysOrg, RED: Rediff, REU: Reuters, Sify: Sify Broadband, TH: The Hindu, TNJ: The News (Jang), ToI: Times of India, TT: The Tribune, v2020: Vision 2020 report (pdf),
 
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