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September 8, 1997


India leads the pack in growth of paging market

The Indian paging industry hopes to join Asian countries such as China , Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore with a subscriber base of over one million in the next four years.

The Asia-Pacific region is the only one that will witness fuelling growth and India will be one of the dominant countries were maximum numbers of pagers will be sold.

This was stated by James A Wright, corporate vice-president and director of strategic planning and marketing of Motorola Paging Products Group in a symposium organised at New Delhi to review the prospects of the paging industry.

Speaking at the symposium, Wright said that the paging industry registered an average growth rate of over 33 per cent per annum from 1991-96 from a subscriber base of 28 million in 1991, to a phenomenal 115 million in 1996.

In 1996, the paging industry grew by over 20 per cent in all regions around the world with Latin America leading the pack with a 70 per cent growth, followed by Europe at 35 per cent and the Asia Pacific at 29 per cent.

A cross-section analysis of the paging subscribers in service, revealed that in 1991 about 51 per cent of the subscribers were Americans, 38 per cent were from the Asia-Pacific and the balance 11 per cent from Europe, West Asia and Africa. However, the period from 1991 to 1996 witnessed a significant swing, with the Asia-Pacific region gaining a lot of ground and capturing a whopping 60 per cent of the world share, Wright said.

The key drivers for this kind of growth included India (248 per cent growth), Vietnam (79 per cent), and the Philippines (53 per cent) in 1996.

Estimates now suggest that the paging industry would grow to 220 million subscribers by 2001 at an average rate of 13 per cent per annum.

Wright strongly felt that the next five years will see the Asia-Pacific region grow at a rapid pace and will have a 59 per cent share of the paging subscribers.

He also added that India will continue to register a very high rate of growth. Giving his reasons, Wright said that currently India has a very low penetration rate of barely 1 per cent of the population as against China's 4 per cent.

"Other developed countries like Japan and the USA have a penetration level of 30 per cent and 19 per cent. Even in Korea, 8.4 out of every 10 University students have a pager. The potential for India is therefore tremendous," he said.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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