Rural mobile teledensity doubles.
New Delhi: Rural is hot, when it comes to mobile telephony. Rural wireless teledensity has almost doubled -- to 15.35% from 8.73% -- according to the latest data available with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). For 100 people living in rural areas, more than 15 had mobile phone connections as of June-end. Just a year earlier -- the close of June 2008 -- it was less than nine. Urban teledensity, meanwhile, grew to 87.18%
from 63.85% in the corresponding period.The rural mobile subscriber base increased to 125.95 million in June 2009 from 70.83 million in June 2008, while that in urban areas went up to 301.34 million from 216.04 million. Among the service providers, Bharti Airtel has the maximum number of rural wireless subscribers at 33.78 million, followed by Vodafone at 24.83 million and Idea Cellular at 19.8 million.
State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has 19.35 million rural mobile phone subscribers, while Reliance Communications has 16.36 million, Aircel has 8.82 million and Tata Teleservices, 2.93 million.
When it comes to percentage share of rural mobile subscribers, Idea Cellular tops the list, with 42.05% of its 47.09 million subscribers based in rural areas. Aircel is next with 40.47%, followed by BSNL at 35.59%, Bharti at 33%, Vodafone at 32.48%, Reliance at 20.55%, Tata Teleservices at 7.89% and Sistema at 5.29%.
When you look at the total rural phone subscriber base (mobile and landline)
too, Bharti comes out on top with 33.78 million. BSNL has 29.64 million rural subscribers, Vodafone with 24.83 million, Idea with 19.80 million, Reliance with 16.36 million, Aircel with 8.82 million, and Tata Teleservices with 2.96 million.
At the close of June 2009, the country had a total of 464.82 million phone subscribers. Out of this, 70.7% -- or 328.55 million -- were urban subscribers while 136.27 million were rural users. The total teledensity in the country was 39.86%, with urban teledensity at 95.05% and rural teledensity at 16.61%.
Fixed-line stats, however, are on a decline, with the subscriber base falling 1.14% from the quarter ending March 2009, to touch 37.53 million in June 2009.At the last count, urban fixed line teledensity was 7.87%, while rural fixed line teledensity was a dismal 1.26%.
Urban teledensity will have crossed the figure of 100% by December of 09.