GSM mobile operators added 41.5 lakh net subscribers in rural areas last month, taking the overall base to 31.97 crore, industry body COAI said.
"All India GSM rural subscriber figures as on December 2014 stood at 319.79 million with 4.15 million net additions, which is 1.3 percent increase from previous month," Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.
The GSM rural subscriber base stood at 31.56 crore at the end of November, COAI added. COAI, which represents telecom players like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, said the data does not include GSM subscriber number of Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices.
Idea Cellular added the maximum number of subscribers in the reported period with 20.4 lakh users joining its network in rural areas, followed by Bharti Airtel with 8.5 lakh subscriber additions.
Vodafone added 5 lakh subscribers in rural areas while Aircel and Uninor added 3.8 lakh each in December. As a rural and urban subscriber mix, Vodafone and Idea have higher percentage of rural subscribers whereas Airtel, Aircel and Uninor have more percentage of urban subscribers.