An estimated 10 per cent of India’s villages still have no mobile coverage, the Economic Times reported yesterday.
Twenty years after mobile service was launched in the country of 1.3 billion people, almost 56,000 villages lack network coverage, according to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
More than half of the 5,258 villages in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders China, are uncovered. In the non-hill states, Andhra Pradesh tops the list with 23 per cent of its 16,335 villages having no mobile coverage. Odisha is a close second with 22 per cent of its 47,675 villages uncovered.
An additional 13 states lack mobile coverage in at least 10 per cent of their villages. The country has 29 states and seven union territories.
India has 941 million mobile connections, but a SIM penetration rate of just 74 per cent, according to the latest stats from GSMA Intelligence. Indonesia, with a population of 254 million, has a SIM penetration of 122 per cent, while China’s is 92 per cent. Neighbouring Pakistan has a SIM penetration rate of 75 per cent.