More than 2 lakh lines per day added to the telecom network

MUMBAI: The New Year started with the addition of about 6.78 million phones in the number of telecom subscribers during the month of January 2007 - an average daily addition of more than two lakh lines. As a result, the total number of telephones in the country, now has gone up to 196.7 million thereby registering a growth of 3.5%.

Almost the entire growth registered during the month was in the wireless segment - with GSM contributing 4.99 million and CDMA contributing 1.79 million. With this, the overall teledensity now stands at 17.45%. However, it may be noted that there was a marginal decrease of about five thousand subscribers in the fixed line segment.

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat telecom circles added more than 3.7 lakh each in the GSM segment, followed by the Karnataka circle (3.5 lakh). In the CDMA segment, the total subscriber base registered a growth of 3.9% with a net addition of 1.73 million subscribers. Maharashtra telecom circle contributed the maximum to this addition. Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra circles added more than 5 lakh subscribers each during the month.

The growth of broadband connections improved further and at the end of December 2006, about 2.03 million broadband connections were provided and coverage of broadband connectivity by public sector service providers has reached 762 cities. The total number of existing ISP licencees is 385.

Under Bharat Nirman Programme, out of the 66,822 villages, so far 38795 villages have been provided with Village Public Telephones (VPTs). The remaining 28027 villages are to be covered by November, this year.

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