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103.2 million phones in India now

August 05, 2005 16:00 IST

Over 49 lakh (4.90 million) phones were added in the April-June quarter this fiscal taking the total number of phone connections in the country to 10.32 crore (103.2 million) and tele-density to 9.37 per cent notwithstanding a negative growth of about 200,000 in basic phones.

The addition of 49.13 lakh (4.913 million) connections was higher by 400,000 phones added over the same period a year ago. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal (Jan-March), about 21 lakh (2.10 million) phones were added.

With this addition, the tele-density has increased from 7.49 per cent in June 2004 to 9.37 per cent at the end of June 2005, according to the latest figure issued by department of telecom.

Yet again mobile phones contributed maximum to the total additional phones which stood at 51.71 lakh (5.171 million). The number of mobile phones (including WLL-M) as on June 30, 2005 is more than 5.73 crore (57.3 million) -- 55.52 per cent of total addition of 51.71 lakh.

The private sector has played a major role by accounting for 86.59 per cent of the expansion during these three months. It has so far provided 5.05 crore (50.5 million) phones as on June 30, 2005, which is about 49 per cent of the total phones in the country.

In the rural areas, only BSNL has provided direct exchange lines and VPTs. BSNL has provided 80,928 telephones during April-June of 2005-06. About 1,182 VPTs have also been provided by BSNL during the past three months.

The cellular customer base of BSNL and MTNL has expanded to about 1.02 crore (10.2 million) and 11 lakh (1.1 million), respectively.

To boost their subscriber base direct commercial international GSM roaming has been launched with four networks in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Turkey. GSM international roaming agreement were also signed with nine GSM operators operating in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Congo, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Guyana, Denmark and Bahrain.

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