Area Development
The number of mobile phone users in India could reach 650 million by 2012, double the current number, according to a forecast by the country's prime minister. Agence France-Presse reports that the nation, which has the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world, added a record 10.42 million new mobile users in October of this year, in spite of a slowdown in the economy. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a telecommunications industry group that the nation's total telephone subscriber base should reach 700 million in the next four years, with only 50 million of them landlines. The majority of the new mobile users, according to the prime minister, come from rural areas where fewer people have access to landlines.