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Phone lines cross 250 m, ahead of December target

The country's telecom industry reached a new milestone in September by hitting a telephone subscriber base of 250 million, reports Archana Khatri.

business Updated: Oct 22, 2007 22:27 IST
Archana Khatri

The country's telecom industry reached a new milestone in September by hitting a telephone subscriber base of 250 million, a target originally set for achievement by December. Well over 80 per cent of them are mobile telephones.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) sounded upbeat on Monday as it noted an addition of 7.8 million subscribers in September, down from 8.31 million achieved in August but showing a fast clip in relation to the target.

“The expectation of 500 million by 2010 is by no means ambitious,” TRAI said in a statement.

Wireless phones mushrooming across the nation have boosted the teledensity, representing the number of phone connections as a share of the population.

Teledensity in India has reached 21.85 per cent against the target of 15 per cent that was pegged to be achieved by 2010, showing a growth far outpacing expectations. A month ago, at the end of August, teledensity was 21.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the subscriber base in landlines is continuing to decline. The wireline subscriber base decreased to 39.58 million in the month of September 2007 as against 39.73 million subscribers a month earlier.

During the first six months (April to September) of 2007, 42.80 million total telephone subscribers have been added – with the additional number exceeding the landline base.