The all-pervading mobile phone is set to get even more popular in India, thinks leading phone manufacturer Nokia, which estimates that the country will have as many as half a billion mobile phone users by the end of this decade.
Speaking at the Goafest conclave, D Shivakumar, vice president and managing director of Nokia India, also predicted that 250 million users would access the internet through their phones, while video and music capabilities would be available to 60 million and 100 million subscribers respectively.
He added that the market would be divided into three categories: the top-end market segment would be limited to 50 million customers; the middle-end phone range would have 150 million customers while the remaining 300 million users would be using low-end devices. He said that the last-named category is ''unique to India'', and will be ''dominated by low-cost basic handsets with minimal functionality.''
While this may be good news for mobile phone manufacturers and service providers, existing customers will be concerned whether existing infrastructure will be upgraded fast enough to cope with this demand. Already, there have been concerns voiced on the quality of wireless signals and that of several handsets flooding the market.
Currently, India is the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, adding around 6 million subscribers every month. The total mobile phone user population in the country is now in the region of 250 million, or half the number estimated for 2010.