India has more than 1.15 billion mobile phone subscribers and nearly 98% of the population is covered with a 4G network, the government informed the Indian Parliament.
The number of telecom base stations in the country has grown from 6,49,834 (as of 31 March 2014) to 23,25,948 (as of 28 February 2022), said Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha (House of the People).
"At present, the mobile networks in India are serving more than 115 crores (1.15 billion) subscribers (as of 31 December 2021). Nearly, 98% of the population is covered with a 4G network," he stated.
Further, there has been a significant reduction in tariffs for voice and data since 2016 which also indicates the presence of adequate competition in the telecom sector, the minister added.
There has been a consolidation in the Telecom Sector since 2012. Even after the consolidation, there is sufficient competition in the sector as at least four Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) including one public sector unit (PSU) - BSNL/MTNL - are present in each Licenced Service Area (LSA). The country is divided into 22 LSAs.
Consolidation in the telecom sector has resulted in optimum utilisation of resources including the radio spectrum. The same is evident from the substantial increase in the number of telecom towers, network coverage, and subscriber base.