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Chart: Wireless Telecom Subscribers – Urban vs Rural (Telecom Operators)

As of September 2012, urban wireless connections account for nearly 63.52% of the total telecom wireless connections in India, up from 61.44 % reported in March 2011.

Some observations: (Remember that some of these connections may actually be inactive)

– With 53.21 million rural connections, Idea cellular has the maximum percentage (53.5%) of rural connections for any operator. It is the only telecom operator with more than half its base rural.
– Among major telcos, RCOM has the least number of rural connections with 31.04 million rural connections, which is about 22.8% of its total connections.
– Bharti Airtel still has the maximum number of rural connections with 79.46 million, about 42% of its total connections.
– Vodafone and Idea seem to be the only telecom operators with relatively equal percentage ( +/- 3%) of rural and urban connections.  All the other telecom operators seem to have more than 50% of their connections in urban areas.


– Among the top private players in terms of the number of connections, only Vodafone has had a steady rise in the number of rural connections.
– Airtel, after a steady rise in rural connections from December 2009 to June 2012, had a flat growth in the next quarter.
– Idea and RCOM have seen a drop in the number of connections from June 2012 to September 2012.



Also, we weren’t able to depict three telcos in this chart, owing to their tiny subscriber base or non-availability in rural areas:

– MTNL has 8.75 million urban connections.
– Videocon has 4.45 million urban connections.
– Loop Mobile, which operates only in Mumbai, has 3.03 million connections.
– HFCL (Quadrant) has 1.75 Million urban connections, 0.04 million rural connections.

Data Source: TRAI
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