Top 10 Best Mobile SIM Networks in India

Top GSM and CDMA mobile SIM card networks in India offering best value for your money. Here is the list of 10 best cellular SIM card providers in India.

India is a vast country with people living in cities, towns and villages. It is a big problem for Indian Tele companies to provide its services with consistency in every corner of the country. It’s general experience for Indians that a SIM card giving good internet speed in one of the rooms in the house may not even catch signals in other rooms.

In India, there are around 14 big and small mobile network operators offering prepaid and postpaid services but all can’t top the charts. So, let us look at top 10 best GSM and CDMA mobile cellular network in India:

Airtel Logo

Airtel Logo

  #1.  Airtel

Airtel is one of the biggest cellular networks in India. It’s services like My plan and Airtel Money is quite popular. Airtel provides some of the very good internet speeds and with its solid coverage, you will rarely have any connectivity issues when travelling. But it is a bit pricey as compared others but their services are worth paying that little bit extra.

Now due to increased market competition, they are offering data and voice calls at an affordable price.

After complete acquiring of Telenor. Airtel has opened its wings to give a stiff fight to other telcos. Airtel will get Telenor services which are available in 7 circles, serving more than 55 million customers at very low internet price and call rates. This will boost the Airtels customer base and also the coverage network.

Read: Trick to convert 2G data into 3G speed

Airtel is second only to BSNL in nationwide coverage providing best connectivity & reliability with good average speed. With the 4G roll out, Airtel network is going to be even better given its 4G speed.

Goods:

  • Nationwide coverage (Urban and rural)
  • Good connectivity
  • 4G services
  • Solid network
  • Lot of offers
  • Good customer care support
  • Telenor users can rejoice as Airtel’s acquisition will increase the network coverage and connectivity.

Bads:

  • Pricey as compared to others
  • Not the fastest of net speeds
BSNL

BSNL

  #2. BSNL

BSNL or Cellone is unarguably the biggest and most widespread cell phone carrier in India with coast-to-coast nationwide coverage with consistency. With BSNL SIM card in your pocket, you can travel to any corner of the country. The best part of BSNL is it offers 2G and 3G at the same price but its net speed is substandard with very poor internet connectivity.

Graph shows average prices for 1GB of data forstatess of MH, GJ, WB, AP, KR, MP.

The graph shows average prices for 1 GB of data for states of MH, GJ, WB, AP, KR, MP.

With solid coverage and great value for money, BSNL is the best Bang for your Buck but its poor internet speed and connectivity could be a critical factor.

BSNL is offering a great value for the price on the internet which is just enough to create headaches for the counter companies.

Goods:

  • Widest network in the country
  • Low internet price
  • 3G and 2G at same price and same speed
  • Many offers based on different categories

Bads:

  • Poor internet speed
  • Issues with call and connectivity
  • Average customer care support
Idea Cellular Logo

Idea Cellular Logo

  #3.  Idea

Idea cellular provides good coverage in urban and rural areas. It provides good internet speed but generally has some expensive tariff plans. You may face few issues of call drops and low signals while travelling but still Idea is a very good choice when it comes to net speed and customer service.

If you are looking for something with good speed and stability with good rural coverage then Idea is for you. 

Idea and Vodafone are in conversations to coalesce, this merger could turn out be the biggest mobile cellular unit in next 3 to 4 years.

Goods:

  • Rural and urban coverage is good
  • More reliable in towns and cities
  • Good internet speed
  • 4G Rollout
  • Excellent customer support
Related:  [Trick] Use 4G SIM in 3G Smartphones

Bads:

  • Low signals
  • Not suited for travellers
  • Expensive internet plans
Vodafone Logo

Vodafone Logo

  #4.  Vodafone

Vodafone used to be one of the weakest nationwide mobile carriers but with time, this carrier has shown its potential. The services provided by Vodafone are good and so is its 3G & 4G speed which is very high as compared to others. But its rural coverage is poor and is, therefore, suitable mostly for urban areas.

With average network coverage and the high price, it is liked only by masses but given that its speed is awesome, it gives great user experience for any general internet user.

Goods:

  • Excellent internet speed
  • Good coverage with excellent stability in urban areas
  • Appreciable price
  • 4G Services
  • Good customer care service

Bads:

  • Not for rural areas
  • Do not have country wide coverage
  • Issues with call connectivity in many regions of country

jio-4g

 #5. Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio Infocomm is said to be world’s biggest startup with over Rs. 1.5 Lakh Crore invested in this mega project. The company has acquired rights for 4G services in all circles of the country. Of course, it is too early to talk about the success of the project but for sure Jio has created ripples across the telecom sector of this country.

Jio can be said to have created what is called Telecom Revolution by offering free voice calls, no roaming charges, unlimited night data and also provides a free subscription to the bunch of useful apps like JioTV, Jio Music etc. And also the exciting.

It also offers Jio Prime offer which is surely exciting the customers to avail the free benefits offered by Jio. The prime offer is a good strategy to keep the customer base and excite potential customers to buy their service.

Jio for sure has given head-to-head competition to the already established telecom networks.

Goods:

  • No charges over voice calls
  • Good 4G Speed
  • Free subscription to Apps
  • Low tariff plans rate

Bads:

  • Poor voice quality
  • Call Drops
  • Fluctuating connectivity
  • No 3G phone support

  #6.  Tata DoCoMo

Tata’s collaboration with the Docomo telecom of Japan gave birth to Tata DoCoMo. Docomo’s weakest attribute is its network which is limited only to cities and towns. If you live in an urban area, you’re probably safe, but stepping out too far into the suburbs will cause connectivity problems. But it offers its 3G services at prices which are very low as compared to others. It also offers other value-added services at fairly low cost.

If you live in an urban area than Docomo is meant for you giving you a top notch service with some cheap tariff plans.

Goods:

  • Low internet prices
  • Excellent network of towns and cities
  • Good internet speed
  • Exciting offers

Bads:

  • Not recommended even when travelling
  • Extremely poor rural coverage
  • Unstable signals in many parts of the country
Best SIM network Comaprision Chart

Service comparison chart    Source: Livemint

  #7.  Aircel

Aircel may not have a PAN India network but its presence in limited demography in southern and eastern India with lower customer base has made it favourite one because of low congestion in the networks, excellent customer support,  low prices and good offers.

It provides 3G and 4G services at affordable price and superb high speed. A survey conducted by Mint-instaVaani ranked Aircel as a top cellular network in India better ranked than Airtel and BSNL but looking at its limited presence they love to be customer-centric organisation.

Read: Best 4G Networks and 4G Circles in India

Goods:

  • Superb speed
  • 3G and 4G at affordable price
  • Excellent network and connectivity
  • Excellent customer care support

Bads:

  • Only serves limited demographic region in the country (South and eastern part)
  • Do not have nationwide network
Polls conducted on Google Plus (For representational purpose only)

Polls conducted on Google Plus (For representational purpose only)

   #8.  Reliance Telecom

Reliance was first introduced as CDMA network and later it stepped into GSM field. With reliance, you will get some very good 2G and 3G data plans at very low cost. It didn’t acquire many circles for 3G but still, it offers good speed on EDGE. You may face some issues while calling like voice echo and zero response. It is also going to launch its 4G services in near future as the company has partnered with Reliance Jio.

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With good internet speed and low pricing, reliance is a great network to use but it has poor rural coverage.

Goods:

  • Low internet price
  • Affordable 4G prices
  • Good connectivity and customer service
  • Lots of freebies

Bads: 

  • Average rural coverage
  • Voice call and network issues

    3G network Map

    3G network Map

   #9.  MTNL

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is a state-owned service provider headquartered at New Delhi which provides its services in metro cities of Mumbai and Delhi. Due to heavy competition in the market, the company is losing its base and money. It offers broadband internet and 3G services. The company also operates in Mauritius as Mahanagar Telephone Mauritius Limited (MTML).

Read: Download Paid Android Apps for Free 

   #10.  MTS India

Mobile TeleSystems provides wireless voice, broadband Internet, messaging and data services in India. MTS operates in 9 circles across India. It offers high-speed broadband data and serves around 9 million subscribers.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

1. Which is best SIM Card in India for the internet?

Ans: If you look for the country as a whole rather than different circles, BSNL is the best. It acquired right to provide 3G services in the entire country. Also, it offers 3G and 2G at the same price. In fact, there is no 2G for BSNl. They are also offering great exciting data offers at a nominal price. After BSNL we recommend Airtel.

2. Which is best SIM in India for rural/village areas?

Ans: Every region has respective network king, different service providers offer their best in different regions. In rural areas, network stability is the most important factor as coverage is limited and therefore in such case, Airtel is the best. BSNL is also a good option to choose but after all it all depends on the consistency of connection in your area.

3. What is average 2G, 3G and 4G internet speeds in India?

Ans: TRAI has set limits for internet speed over cellular networks in the country. So, all the network providers have restrictions over net speeds. Actually, all SIM Networks provide an average 2G speed of 40 – 130 Kbps, 3G speed of 1 – 1.8 Mbps and 4G speed from 14 – 25 Mbps.

4. Which is best the SIM for travel to India?

Ans: BSNL and Airtel due to solid nationwide coverage.

5. Which SIM provides fastest internet speeds?

 Ans: There is no sure answer for this question but Vodafone has proven to be fastest among its counterparts when it comes to 3G.

6. Which is the Best 4G Network?

Ans: The market is under intense competition for retaining the subscriber base and gaining new subscriber. The telcos are offering all types of goodies to retain the user. I think

I think Jio should be the first choice followed by Airtel India.

7. Which SIM Network is best for North East India?

If you have a dual SIM device I prefer you to use BSNL and Airtel given the hilly and mountainous region. I don’t know about the other SIM card works but BSNL and Airtel are the ones for which you should go for.

Subscribers in Millions as of March 2017:

  1. Airtel India – 265.9
  2. Jio Infocomm – 120
  3. Vodafone India – 197.94
  4. Idea Cellular – 175.04
  5. Reliance Communications – 102.40
  6. BSNL – 96.8
  7. Aircel – 90.9
  8. Tata Docomo – 53.0
  9. Telenor India – 54.5

Conclusion:

The rankings are based on polls, survey, and other research. Readers personals views may vary. If you have any suggestions for improvements please comment below. Do share your views. Cheers!

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110 Responses

  1. pramod pawle says:

    Like voda & idea

  2. indian says:

    BSNL is best. they improved lot and network is available in every corner of our country.

  3. Raunit Raj says:

    Airtel 3G is giving awsome network in bihar

  4. pooja says:

    When I shifted to Delhi, I got a new Vodafone connection which worked fine initially. Later, I faced a lot of network issues. I came across this app called Bill Bachao that guides you with the best network available in a particular area. You can also read the reviews by other users to know their opinion on the network coverage of a particular service provider. You can also opt for number portability using this app. It is free and helps in many ways. The additional benefit of using this app is it provides cashback benefits on prepaid recharges and bill payments too.

  5. Arjun says:

    I dont know which Sim i want to take for my new smartphone,which should be cheap too!!!

  6. kaiser says:

    I myself personallying love BSNL due to its low cost Internet packs with good speed.

  7. brijesh singh says:

    I think bsnl is the best but u r right customer service and marketing department very poor performance…..

  8. Pratap Biswas says:

    I appreciate your efforts on putting on such a list. I myself love Tata Docomo because of its low cost tarrif plans. I’m from UP and here network coverage is a huge problem. I use docomo for 3 years and loved it.
    My personel fav are
    1. docomo
    2. bsnl
    3. airtel
    4. vodafone
    5. Idea

  9. Ashwani Nishant Vats says:

    reliance is the worst network in the world.call rates are high.services are extremely poor and customer supports doesn’t even exist.
    my observed lowest 2g speed was 146 bytes per second and average is 3 kbps.and average 3g speed is around 8 kbps.they charge 3 rupees for 2 minutes.I regularly try to connect to their customer executive but there’s no option for that.I’ve requested for port 4 months ago but no response yet.when you have data plan but less mb then they’ll deduct money from your account instead of data pack.I asked for the reason and they answered me that its their clause.I asked for information about that clause from RTI act but they neglected.
    I beg everyone never to use this reliance shit.

  10. Vinay says:

    Signal coverage all over india urban & rural areas which SIM best ? BSNL or AIRTEL.

  11. Diwakar Singh says:

    Which is best and cheapest sim network in lahartara area, varanasi

  12. Vinay says:

    RELIANCE Worst .

  13. kowshik shahin says:

    I use reliance and live on village and I see this is good signal but airtel also not bad.

  14. HARI PRASATH P says:

    Airtel is a superb network and reliance jio is now updated with comparison between airtel and reliance now reliance is best network

  15. Shivakumar says:

    I like airtel network clarity voice and speed net

  16. Vinay says:

    Airte network coverage best or reliance jio ?

  17. abhi says:

    I appreciate your post and it’s data. Which are quite relevant upto a blog level. I liked Relince Jio bcoz of free network nd internet. Its too early to say it is best network but still it has shaken up the telecom industry. I’m enjoying free internet and voice.

  18. Yuvraj Singh says:

    I think no.1 is airtel ,it provide 3G service in rural areas also.

    • Arun says:

      Jio provides 4G services in both urban and rural areas.
      They’re continuously improving their signal coverage everywhere.

  19. Shashank Ravoor says:

    Jio is best

  20. fadhil says:

    Jio is bad airtel is best

  21. Aysha says:

    What about aircel??which is better aircel or airtel ?

  22. Sarita says:

    Jio network is too bad….airtel is best as compare to jio network

  23. dev says:

    vodafone is best

  24. harsh says:

    I thinks Vodafone is best network because it ha highest 3g and 4g net speed . and bsnl is better

  25. sehnaz khan says:

    Journey me konsa sim best hota hain

  26. Dileep says:

    Jio is worst in its network needs much improvement..
    Jio sim is free but their own distributors r selling.. It is 4G bot it’s not working on 2G speed also and it is not ment for calling..I have not seen such a worst network

  27. Dileep baranwal says:

    Bsnl se achha koi nhi hai iska network small town and village me bhi available hai, haa iske baad agr koi hai to airtel hai,baki sb flap hai.

  28. Dipom says:

    sirf 3 ad dekke ap lakho kama sakto ho apne team k sath milke weone app download kijiye ye app playstore me uplabd he or refer code 2gbe5 use kijiye or joining kijiye logo ko or kudh v earning kijiye or logo kov moka dijiye

  29. SPATIL says:

    I appreciate your views on ranking but I think vodafone is better of all

  30. Akshay says:

    I have one more question..
    Which is the best sim card in India for fast call connectivity ?

    Means which sim cannect call urjent or quick ?
    Please help me….

  31. sabuz mondal says:

    very nice

  32. salim says:

    Jio is best

  33. anup says:

    airtel is good docomo is bad network in odisha.in rural area there are no singnal

  34. nikki bhosle says:

    I have an issues in my airtel sim and also in reliance gsm. the network are to cheap and internet connection also. from so many days I am facing this problem bt till yet I dint got the solutiol. plz guide me for new network

  35. Ajit Patil says:

    Great list bro with lot of information.

  36. NayanNiya says:

    Airtel is the best sim in the india

  37. Mr. rai says:

    BSNL is very good please everyone use some time bad network .But this is Ower national network so please use

  38. Jason Codd says:

    I arrive on the 12th of January into Kochi and plan on going south, up the east coast about half the way and then accross central and back down to Kochi or maybe Goa. What would you recommend for me to get? Have a 4g phone. Cheers Jason

  39. Amit says:

    Sabse fhaltu hai Reliance service, network poor, internet poor, NO service. Worst then Govt but charges are like king size.

  40. Mithun Rajput says:

    airtel is the best network in India…only airtel …i have been using airtel for 3 years ,bt one year ago call rates alot expensive bt now too good.what is jio this jio is waist of time .every people use the what’s up etx.full day coz.this is free.& really airtel is the best network bater then others.

  41. Sid says:

    Idea and airtel is the best sim

  42. Sid says:

    Idea and airtel is the best sim

  43. venkat says:

    Airtel is the best. But price lists high

  44. sabari nathan tamilnadu says:

    I am changed jio network

  45. Ankit says:

    Which sim is good for using the internet in cheapest fastest

  46. Baljinder says:

    Vodafone In best for internet and call rates, Idea used for range in villages and city Relience are Helpful to call rates another operators

  47. NAZEER says:

    EXCELLENT COVERAGE BY BSNL, & BSNL IS THE BEST SERVICE IN INDIA I THINK THK U

  48. Pankaj rathor says:

    Reliance Jio 4G is best and Airtel also best cellular network

  49. nafees says:

    Airtel bhut bura

  50. nafees says:

    Dosto jio ke hote hue tension nhi lene ka

  51. Ankit says:

    Artel is fastest than Jio ans Jio is😜😨😵😵😵😵😵😵😵😱😩poor

  52. AMAL KUMAR says:

    AIRTEL IS GOOD NETWORK ALWAYS.

  53. vijay bhandari says:

    which is suitable for network and calls

  54. vijay bhandari says:

    which is suitable for network, internet and calls

  55. jaideep sarkar says:

    whaat airtel is no.1 i using airtel from 3Years and i never get any kind of speed this is fake news

  56. Aman says:

    Airtel is awesome for UP……

  57. Salam says:

    i think now a days jio is best if you are internet lover and if you want to use for basic call and good network in all rural and urban then use BSNL .dont go for private operater they will suck.

  58. sakthivel says:

    I like Jio

  59. Saan says:

    4g speed is fixed between 14 Mbps to 25 Mbps.
    that means you will get speed between 1.7 Mbps to 3.2 Mbps.

  60. Choton says:

    I am from kolkata & I am using both Airtel and Tata Docomo.
    cause airtel gave good network coverage & docomo don’t gave good network coverage.
    but airtel plans are costly & docomo plans are cheaper.
    so I use docomo as a home network.
    Actually I am using airtel, India’s top sim provider which gave best service with high cost.
    And on the other side India’s worst sim provider Tata docomo with real low cost.
    But at last both are my favourite operators.

  61. Ajit patil says:

    Now jio is best for network

  62. pradip says:

    VODAFONE

  63. Vikas rock says:

    jio is best Ambani is great baki sab fake

  64. Anoop Kumar C says:

    It all depends on the perspective of the customer. If you are in city and you like surfing internet, Tata DoCoMo is best in terms of 3G speed and rate. When it comes to travelling, Airtel is good choice. In village, BSNL and Airtel has a good Network Coverage. At present Jio is Ruling the market. But other then free calling and cheap internet offers, it has many disadvantages like frequent call drop, less coverage when compared with Airtel . So choose the sim based on your preference.

  65. Rishikesh says:

    Jio is the best low priced nd fast service

  66. Sathish Shetty says:

    Good

  67. joy says:

    airtel is best SIM in india

  68. abc123advicers says:

    jio is providing the best and excellent speed it should be on 1st

  69. janardan says:

    AIRTEL is the best – best 4G speed..best coverage..best customer care..honest in billing..

  70. janardan shri says:

    AIRTEL is the best – best 4G speed..best coverage..best customer care..honest in billing..

  71. Abhishek says:

    Jio is the best

  72. Deepak says:

    I am surprised when i compare as network coverage of jio even in remote interior village place i got jio 4G network but not bsnl and any other, moreover their offers and tariff is very competitive and economical. so guys go for jio. best 4G mobile network

  73. Daniel says:

    Jio only best because others sim give high rate for 1gb but today all sim give offer y it called jio

  74. roshan Lawrence says:

    Aircel is best

  75. yasin says:

    dest net work is jio or airtel

  76. Manoj says:

    Vodafone network is wrost in rural areas and tarriff is competitive costly in every segment

  77. sumit says:

    Airtel is bestest

  78. sumit says:

    Airtel is bestest bsnl better

  79. Hafiju Rahman says:

    Jio is the best network for data and free unlimited calling
    Jio create innovation in Telecom
    So very like

  80. hiphop Santosh says:

    Best network of use only
    Airtel 4G& !dea 4G
    Don’t use for jio 4G

  81. m.s says:

    airtel 2g is the most worst network in our area but its 3g 4g connectivity is superb . about 2g vodafone provides good 2g connectivity

  82. Amandeep says:

    Airtel India ka best networks

  83. Laxmi shankar says:

    Idea India s ka better networks

  84. omer says:

    Admin where is Telenor? I use Telenor 4G in city and BSNL in rural. I also suggest others to use telenor as primary and bsnl as secondary!

  85. Neeraj Karnatak says:

    Best network is airtel 4G**********

  86. Ruby says:

    Plss help…im staying in calicut …nallalam …
    Many told me that idea have best speed for net …and i chose it…but now here im getting only 2G net … I wnt t chng my connection.. airtel or jio???.. Plss put a comment

    • GOWTHAM says:

      BSNL is the king of the network. But due to lack of publicity it lagging behind. Once use it and feel it. Because I’m one who gradually changes the network. Airtel is good , worst is idea. All other are cool

  87. Raaz sah says:

    Jio is the best network in Bihar….. Rural areas also with 4G wow……….

  88. GOWTHAM says:

    BSNL is the king of the network. But due to lack of publicity it lagging behind. Once use it and feel it. Because I’m one who gradually changes the network. Airtel is good , worst is idea. All other are cool

  89. P Sakthivel says:

    Reliance is the best network

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