India has 464.78 million mobile subscribers in rural areas in 2016, according to statistics released by TRAI on July 3, 2017.
India had 431.22 million mobile users in rural areas in 2015.
The number of mobile subscribers in urban areas in 2016 was 662.60 million as compared with 579.67 million in 2015.
Rural density for mobile services providers is just 52.84 (out of 100) as compared with 165 for urban density.
Rural density for wireline operators is 0.44 as compared with 5.12 for urban density.
India has rural Internet subscriber base of 115.06 million against 276.44 million urban Internet users in 2016.
Rural Internet subscribers per 100 population was 13.08. Urban Internet subscribers per 100 population was 68.86.
TRAI says that Himachal Pradesh service area has the highest rural tele-density of 99.64 followed by Tamil Nadu service area (88.07) in 2016. Bihar service area continues to have the lowest rural tele-density of 38.58.
How telecoms performed in rural markets
Idea Cellular is the top telecom service provider with highest proportion of rural subscribers with 54.77 percent, followed by Vodafone 53.68 percent to their total subscribers last year.
Airtel is the top telecom operator in terms of number of rural subscribers. Airtel has 28.09 percent share in India. On the other hand, Reliance Jio has 0.89 percent share in India’s rural telecom market.
Bharti Airtel has 130.57 million rural mobile user base across the country. Jio has 4.12 million subscribers in rural areas in India.
The rural wireless subscriber base increased from 431.22 million to 464.78 million with growth rate of 7.78 percent. The urban wireless subscribers increased from 579.67 million to 662.60 million with yearly growth rate of 14.31 percent.
Wireless tele-density increased from 79.82 to 88. Rural wireless tele-density increased from 49.43 to 52.44 and urban wireless tele-density increased from 147.12 to 165.04.
The share of rural and urban wireless subscription is 41.23 percent and 58.77 percent in total wireless subscription.
Rural wireline subscriber base has shown decline of 14.81 percent, from 4.53 million to 3.86 million in 2016. Urban wireline subscription also recorded decline of 2.11 percent, from 20.99 million to 20.55 million.
Overall wireline tele-density fell from 2.01 to 1.9. Urban wireline tele-density dropped from 5.33 to 5.12 and rural wireline tele-density declined from 0.52 to 0.44.