Trai: Broadband connections touch 1 million; mobile users nearing 81 million

MUMBAI: Broadband connections in India have touched just one million, way behind the government's target of three million for December 2005.

Internet subscriber base, however, has crossed 7.5 million, exceeding the target of 6 million. "This shows that there is a demand for both broadband and internet. But the service providers are not being able to fulfill the broadband demand," the telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai) said in a release, putting its estimates on the growth of the industry.

Telephony services has shown a record growth of 4.97 million subscribers during January 2006 as compared to 4.92 million subscribers in December 2005, according to a compilation done by Trai based on latest reports from operators. During the first 10 months of fiscal 2005-2006 (till end-January 06) around 31.41 million subscribers have been added, Trai said.

For the mobile segment 4.69 million subscribers have been added during January 2006, as compared to 4.46 million in December 2005. While 3.52 million GSM subscribers were added, CDMA subscribers grew by 1.17 million. In comparison, 3.19 million GSM and 1.27 million CDMA subscribers were added last month.

During the first ten months of the current financial year, about 28.39 million mobile subscribers were added, making it a total of 80.61 million mobile subscribers at the end of January, 2006.

In the fixed segment, a total of 0.28 million subscribers were added during January 2006, which were predominantly WLL (F). With this, the total subscriber base of fixed lines have reached 49.21 million. The gross subscribers' base consisting of fixed as well as mobile has reached around 130 million.

The tele-density at the end of January 2006 has reached near 12 per cent as compared to 11.43 at the end of previous month, Trai said.

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