ruralurbansubsindia2008How many mobile users in India?

We've blogged about how innovative mobile phone uses and payment options really transform rural communities in the developing world. A story in the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) highlighted a few facts that I found very interesting:

India supported 11 million new subscribers in January 2009 (a record)

India's fastest growing demand is coming from farmers – who typically earn less than $1000/year

There are only 40 million landline subscribers in India

Key agricultural applications include deciding when to plant and harvest by calling other farmers, getting the best prices for production by calling wholesalers and saving hours of time waiting on the road for deliveries and pickups that rarely come on time. Farms support 60% of India's 1.2 billion citizens.

Price for use: $60/phone and $6/month for service consuming an average of 510 minutes.

Mobile penetration is only 30% in India versus 80% in the USA (and over 100% in Finland – many users have 1 phone for work and one for family).

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