There's No Bonanza In Cell Phones...And The Losses May Just Get Bigger

It's Saturday night at Ego, an Italian restaurant popular among New Delhi's young, stylish, and upwardly mobile. Many customers enter clutching mobile phones; most of the tables also have at least one cell phone sitting on top. But for all the phones on display, few diners are using them to talk. Atamjit Singh, 26, is an exception, chatting away about a party taking place later that night. Singh got a mobile phone primarily to keep in touch with employees of the small finance company he manages, but he talks plenty to friends on it, too. That has helped drive his monthly bills to around $260. "I never make my friends feel like, `O.K., you are calling me on my cell phone, so you'd better hurry it up,"' he says. "I talk to them as if I'm on a real phone."

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