The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said yesterday that the number of mobile phone subscribers had exceeded the use of fixed lines subscribers by an astounding gap and will continue to dominate the telecommunications industry.
TRC Director General, Anusha Palpita said that as of December 2010 well over 17 million people had subscribed for mobile phones while 3.6 million has subscribed for fixed line phones, which include SLT and CDMA phones. Mobile subscribers increased from 7 million in 2007 to 14 million in 2009. Between 2009 and the end of 2010 the number of subscribers increased by 3 million.
Palpita said mobile phones are a cheaper option as opposed to fixed lines which is the reason for the increasing gap between the use of mobile phones and fixed lines. “Mobile phone operators charge Rs.2 or less for a minute while fixed operators charged Rs.2.50 to 3 a minute. In addition to that there are a large number of packages and discount services offered by mobile phone operators which fixed line operators do not offer,’ he said.
He said prepaid packages have become the most popular among mobile phone users and is another reason for the growing trend in mobile phone usage. The use of CDMA phones which can be used as fixed line and mobile have also become popular he said due to its dual purpose.