A Guide to India's Telecom Market

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has divided the market into 22 service areas known as “circles.” The circles are divided roughly in line with the country’s 29 provinces and are divided into four categories, as shown below. Service providers require a separate license for each circle.

Metro circles (major cities*):

  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi
  • Kolkata
A circles (regions that include other large cities):

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Gujarat
  • Karnataka
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu*
B circles (regions with smaller urban areas and towns):

  • Haryana
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan
  • Uttar Pradesh (East)
  • Uttar Pradesh (West)
  • West Bengal
C circles (rural areas):

  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu & Kashmir
  • Northeast
  • Orissa
* Chennai, in the southeast, was previously a separate Metro circle, but as of March 31, 2008, it was integrated into the Tamil Nadu A circle as a single entity. The service providers and TRAI, however, continue to report monthly connection numbers for Chennai separately.

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