9.06 million telephone connections (Wireline and Wireless) have been added in India during July 2008 as compared to 8.81 million connections which were added in June 2008. The total number of telephone connections reaches 334.84 million at the end of July 2008 as compared to 325.78 million in June 2008. The overall tele-density in the country has reached 29.08% at the end of July 2008 as against 28.33% in June 2008.
The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 296.08 million at the end of July 2008. A total of 9.22 million wireless subscribers have been added during the month of July 2008 as against 8.94 million wireless subscribers added during the month of June 2008.
In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has slightly decreased to 38.76 million in the month of July 2008 as against 38.92 million subscribers in June 2008. Circle-wise wireline subscriber base of service providers is given at Annexure-II.
Government has provided Village Public Telephones (VPTs) in about 54700 uncovered villages under Bharat Nirman Programme through subsidy support from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). With this, the State owned BSNL has provided telephones to five and half lakh villages across the country. The telecom giant has also brought 30,500 villages under the reach of Broadband.
The target under Bharat Nirman is to provide subsidised public telephone facility to 66822 uncovered villages. Remaining VPTs are likely to be provided by the end of the current year. The scheme covers all villages except those having population of less than 100, those lying in deep forests and those affected with insurgency. It is being carried out under agreements signed by DOT with BSNL in November 2004. Provision of VPTs is included as one of activities under the Centre’s Bharat Nirman Programme.
About 5000 remotely located villages are being provided with VPT using satellite technology- Digital Satellite Phone Terminals (DSPTs). Some of the VPTs, which were initially proposed to be provided on DSPTs, are being delivered through the wireless coverage now available in these villages on account of network expansion. Maximum numbers of villages covered so far under the scheme are from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.