On Wednesday, the Government told Lok Sabha that “There is 55,669 villages are still without mobile telephony services.”

Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Out of total 597,608 villages 541,939 villages in the country served with mobile services, leaving only 55,669 villages without mobile telephony services.”

The Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said: “At the end of September 2015, the current level of rural and urban teledensity stood at 48.79 percent and 152.36 percent, respectively.”

The Minister said that “There are 597,608 inhabited villages in the country. As the teledensity in rural is increased in recent times but there is a broad gap between rural and urban teledensity, it can be explained by the difference in purchasing power of rural and urban consumers and the demand for telecom services is price sensitive, the level of teledensity is determined by the purchasing ability of the consumers.”

To increase rural teledensity to 70 percent by 2017 and 100 percent by 2020, Prasad said that “The National Telecom Policy has set the objectives and they have taken several measures to improve telecommunication services.”