Hyderabad, Feb 13: There are 27,721 inhabited rural areas in the country that still await mobile services.

According to the latest data collected from the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) field units in 2019, there are 2095 inhabited villages in Andhra Pradesh and 110 in Telangana that lack mobile services. Meanwhile, Odisha continues to be the state with the highest number of villages that do not have mobile services. There are only two states in the country that have 100 per cent access to mobile services, including all 1,017 villages in Kerala and 12,168 villages in Punjab.

As per census 2011, there are 16,158 inhabited villages in Andhra Pradesh. Out of this 14,068 have mobile services. Similarly, in Telangana out of 10,128 inhabited villages, 10018 have acquired mobile services.

Mobile coverage in the uncovered villages in the country is being provided by the Government and the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).

According to the IT Ministry, the reasons for not having mobile services in several villages include inter-alia, remote and tough terrain, areas diversely located with scattered population and commercially non-viable operations.

In total it is estimated that there are 5,97,618 inhabited villages in India. Among this 5,69,897 are connected to mobile services.

According to DoT, under Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas Phase-I project, 2,355 towers have been installed by the Union Government. Under LWE Phase-II project, installation of 2,217 mobile towers have been approved for providing mobile connectivity covering Andhra Pradesh, Telangana State, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The percentage share of BSNL to total subscribers in Andhra Pradesh is 11.31% and of private TSPs to is a whopping 88.69%. Meanwhile, there are a total of 103365 4G base transceiver stations in the two Telugu states as of January.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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