Telecom Statistics India-2019


This is the fourth edition of the annual Telecom Statistics India report by the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, government of India. Published in December 2019, it contains statistics such as the number and density of telecom subscribers, revenue from the telecom sector and data usage per subscriber.

In 2019, the report notes, there were 1,183.41 million telephone subscribers in India – 28 million subscriptions lesser than the previous year. At the same time, the ‘tele-density’ (number of telephone connections per 100 inhabitants) stood at 90.1.

The 128-page publication contains data from sources such as telecom companies, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Ministry of Commerce, and public sector undertakings such as MTNL and BSNL. The international data is mainly from the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union database.

The report has 12 chapters: Telecom Subscriber Statistics (I); Telecom Usage Parameters (II); Service Area Wise Subscriber Statistics (III); North-Eastern Region (IV); Operator wise Statistics (V); Financials Telecom Operators (VI); Telecom Revenue (VII); LSA-wise Total Towers and Base Transceivers Stations Count (VIII); Foreign Direct Investment (IX); Export - Import (X); International Comparison (XI); and Update 2017-18 (XII).


  1. In the year 2019, private operators accounted for 88.77 per cent of the telecom sector, whereas public operators held a 11.23 per cent share. 

  2. India’s telecommunication sector received $2,668 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows in 2019. The year 2018 saw $6,212 million worth of FDI equity inflows.

  3. As of March 2019, 43.46 per cent of all telecom subscribers in India resided in rural India, compared to the 56.54 per cent urban subscribers.

  4. There were 636.73 million internet subscribers in India in 2019 – 409.72 million in urban and 227.01 in rural areas. The tele-density stood at 57.50 per 100 inhabitants in rural areas and 159.66 per 100 inhabitants in urban areas.

  5. The tele-density in the country rose from 3.58 in the year 2001 to 93.27 per 100 people in 2018. It has been rising consistently over the years except for a decrease in 2019 to 90.10. 

  6. Data from TRAI indicates that the ‘internet density’ (the number of internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants) rose from 13.45 per 100 inhabitants in 2013 to 48.48 per 100 inhabitants in 2019. It stood at 97.94 and 25.36 per 100 inhabitants in urban and rural areas.

  7. The report states that the ‘traffic’ or the minutes of internet use per subscriber per month in the telecom sector was 692 minutes in the year 2019. The data usage per subscriber per month stood at 9.6 GB.

  8. The annual gross revenue of the telecom industry was Rs. 89,106 crores during 2018-19. This is less than the gross revenues for the sector during 2017-18, which is noted to be Rs. 183,732 crores.

  9. In 2019, Singapore had the highest share in the total FDI inflows into India at 29.9 per cent, followed by Mauritius at 18.75 per cent. The service sector received the highest share of the total inflows, and the telecom sector received 3.45 per cent. 

  10. Globally, the number of fixed-telephone subscriptions was noted to be 12 per 100 inhabitants in 2018, as per the ITU website. On the other hand, India's fixed-telephone subscriptions stood at two per every 100 inhabitants. 

  11. In 2018, there were 107 mobile cellular subscriptions for every 100 people in the world. At the same time, India recorded 87 subscriptions per 100 people.

  12. The number of internet users in India was 38 per 100 people in the year 2018 – compared to 51 per 100 people globally.

  13. India secured the 134th position out of 174 countries in the 2017 ICT Development Index – which ranks countries based on developments in information and communication technology. (The Index was published annually by the International Telecommunication Union until the year 2017.) Iceland topped the ranking with a score of 8.98, compared to India’s score of 3.03.

    Focus and Factoids by Krishna Priya.


Economics Research Unit, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, New Delhi 


Economics Research Unit, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, New Delhi 


27 Dec, 2019