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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 13:46 GMT
India's mobile phone sales soar
Mobile phone
Millions in India are turning to mobile phones as tariffs fall
Sales of mobile phones in India have continued to soar, according to the latest industry figures.

The number of GSM mobile phone users in the country has doubled in the last 12 months to 20.7 million, the Cellular Operators Association of India said.

GSM - or Global System for Mobile Communications - is the dominant phone technology in many parts of the world.

Overall, the number of mobile phone users in India has reached more than 26 million, the government said.

Falling tariffs

India, with its population of more than 1 billion, has averaged 1 million new connections in both fixed line and wireless phones every month since March.

Falling tariffs, together with the removal of regulatory bottlenecks and a booming economy, have aided growth.

However, India still lags far behind China and the United States, which have 200 million and 140 million mobile phone users respectively.

Separately, India's Telecom Regulatory Authority revealed that there were currently 5.8 million CDMA mobile phone users in the country.

CDMA - or Code Division Multiple Access - is the mobile phone standard for the US and much of Asia. GSM is widely used in Europe and Africa.

Nearly seven of every 100 Indians now has access to some type of phone, the Authority said.

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