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11 percent of India's more than 1 billion people own phones
[December 09, 2005]

11 percent of India's more than 1 billion people own phones

The Associated Press

The number of phone users in India increased to nearly 120 million at the end of November, or 11 percent of its 1 billion plus population, from 10 percent just three months earlier, the country's telecommunication regulator said Friday.

A record 3.79 million new connections -- 3.51 million mobile phones and 280,000 fixed lines -- were sold last month, said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The country now has 71.46 million mobile phone users and 48.47 million fixed line users, it said.

The previous record for highest monthly sales was set in October, when 3.24 million connections were sold.

Phone usage languished below 4 percent until 2002, when a booming economy, falling prices and increasing competition fueled demand. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing phone markets in the world, with monthly sales of more than 3 million connections.

TRAI said 60,000 people subscribed to broadband Internet during November, raising the total number of such high-speed connections to 750,000, but still far short of the government's target of 3 million connections by December.


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