New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The number of telephones stood at 1,183.41 million as on March 31, 2019 against 1197.89 million on December 31, 2018. This implies a decrease of 14.48 million during the period, attributed to a decrease in number of telephones in the private sector by 15.41 million during the period, the Telecom ministry has said.The tele-density, which was 91.45% in the beginning of the quarter reduced to90.10% by the end of the March 2019, as per the quarterly (Jan-March) numbers of Department of Telecom.The share of wireless phones reached 98.17% (1161.71 million) as on March 31, 2019. On the other hand, the share of wire line was 1.83% (21.70 million) as on March 31st , 2019, showing the preference for use of wireless.In public sector, there was a slight increase of 0.93 million phones during the quarter ending March,2019. However, in private sector, there was a decrease of 15.41 million phones during the same period. The public sector had 133.51 million (11.28%) phones as against 1049.90 million (88.72%)phones of the private sector as on March 31, 2019.As on March 31, 2019, the share of urban was 56.54% (669.14 million) compared to 43.46%(514.27 million) of rural areas. The rural tele-density stands at 57.50% as compared to the urban tele-density of 159.66% as on March 31, 2019.The Internet usage in the country is on a steady growth path. The number of Internet subscribers (both broadband and narrowband put together) which was 493.95 million at the end of March'18 has increased to 604.21 million by the end of December, 2018, registering a quarterly growth of 7.89% over the quarter of September,2018, the report said.The number of subscribers accessing internet via wireless phones etc. was 582.79 million and there were 21.42 million wired internet subscribers at the end of December, 2018.Wireless internet subscribers constitute 96.45% of the total internet subscribers.The number of Broadband subscribers, which was 525.35 million at the end of December 31, 2018, increased to 563.31 million as on March 31, '19 with an increase of 37.95 million, registering a quarterly growth of 7.22%, DoT said.
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