Finding the best mobile SIM networks in India is not an easy task, as we are overloaded with the advertisements claiming each as number one. But, the reality is different as not all competitors can hold the number one position at the same time.
Also, not all the heavily marketed products are super good to use. In most of the cases, they might be inferior products compared to the other ones which are not that heavily marketed.
So, in this coverage, I’ll focus on ranking top 10 best mobile SIM networks in India. You can quickly go through the details and pick any of the best one out there.
It cannot be easier than this, right?
Owned by the company named Bharti, Airtel holds the number one position and it’s coming from multiple sources, not just the personal experiences. I’ve personally checked their coverage in almost, all the states I’ve visited in India. Their connectivity standard is the biggest reason behind their success followed by their heavily run advertisements.
It’s undoubtedly, the number one telecom provider with a database of customer better than any other player in the market.
Their service is the primary reason why they are able to grab the first position in the market.
Not just the call quality but, also the data strength across India is rock solid. Yes, PAN India coverage is real!
Airtel was the first one to bring 4G connectivity across India and thus, have a leading position in the market.
Their connectivity is of good standard, not just in urban but, also in rural areas.
Sometimes, their products or services are heavily advertised
Huge customer database sometimes affects the proper delivery of customer support experience.
The cost is a bit high compared to other players in the competition.
Vodafone, earlier known as Hutch, is the second position holder in India. They lacked behind in bringing 4G connectivity across India due to some issues with the bandwidth purchase, thus, loosing the game from Airtel. Before 4G, Vodafone was equally good in the market.
Compared to Airtel, their products are not that costly and the service is still reliable. In fact, of similar standards!
They have the PAN India coverage including urban and rural areas.
The customer care service is rock solid, maintaining a standard user experience.
In some areas, Vodafone still works better than Airtel.
4G connectivity is still a question for them, as they are increasing the portfolio in this department.
They lack behind in bringing new offers for the end-users.
#3 Reliance Jio
The newest player in the list but, the toughest one to beat. Jio has shackle up all the big players in the industry by offering unbeatable offers and a PAN India reach in its early days. With the current standard, it’s going to increase day by day and might reach the number one position in the market. In fact, it has already been chosen as the preferred brand for the second SIM card, as Indian users rely on dual SIM cards.
4G connectivity is their real deal as they have no other older generation connectivity standards.
Their connectivity across rural and urban areas, at PAN India level is the another real deal.
The speed they are offering at 4G cellular is way better than any other competitor in the market.
Jio has broken all the records in setting a user base in a record time.
Being a new player in the industry, their reach is still not that good compared to top competitors.
The plans they have are still less and doesn’t cover a broader audience level.
Jio still needs time to offer stable connectivity across the areas being covered.
It’s one of the two government operated telecom service provider in the country. BSNL is also the oldest player in the market as it was present from day one. One can easily find its connection, even in rural areas and their landline connectivity is their biggest power. With the increase in technology and growing user base of mobile phone users in India, they are also coming up with new products in the related domains.
BSNL offers one of the cheapest plans, and the service delivered is equally good.
Their broadband connectivity is still good and they are coming up with new plans to compete against the private vendors in town.
There is no difference in 3G and 2G data plans which is a good thing for the consumers.
The call and data connectivity is getting better day by day, as they are working continuously to fix earlier reported issues.
In many cases, the service delivered for the price paid is not good. Thus, hurting the overall user experience.
The customer care standard is very poor, being a government operated company.
There was a time, Idea used to be the third best telecom service provider across the country. Now, that time period is gone as it has failed to bring new services as per the competition and also lagging behind in improving the customer experience. Still, it’s a good option to pick up, if it works fine in your particular area, compared to other players.
They do offer a couple of unbeatable plans which attracts new customers. Yes, one of the cheapest out there!
If Idea is available in a State then connectivity at both rural and urban areas is equally good.
Earlier expensive internet plans are getting cheaper as the competition is increasing in this domain.
4G rollout is still questionable as the brand has been lagging way behind than other competitors.
Idea is known for their worst customer care service.
Before Reliance Jio, Aircel was the brand which took a lead in offering cheaper call and data rates on the GSM network. And, it succeeded in getting millions of users. In fact, it was one of the preferred brand for the second SIM card. Now, they have lost the position by Jio, of course.
Cheapest call rates and 2G data rates is their superpower.
The connectivity is good in the urban areas, wherever it is available.
The 3G data was offered at really affordable price and the standard in this case was really good.
PAN India visibility is nowhere in the scene.
The connectivity in rural areas is poor.
The call quality is questionable as it doesn’t offer standard service.
#7 Tata Docomo
Tata Indicom was one of the best telecom provider in the CDMA section. Later, it was bought by the Docomo, a Japanese brand and turned into all GSM network. In the initial years, Docomo worked really good but, later it failed to manage the stability across the country. At this time, they are closing one office at a time, to cut the operating cost due to lose.
The internet was offered at really affordable cost. They even offered wireless broadband plans.
Docomo always used to come up with exciting offers in the market, thus, grabbing a lot of users from the market.
The connectivity was limited to urban areas only as the signals were really poor in rural areas.
For a person who travels a lot, Docomo is not at all recommended.
One won’t be wrong if MTNL is called a division of BSNL for the Delhi NCR region. It is also available in Mumbai, as the full form stands for Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited.
If you live in one of these two Metro cities, and looking to get a landline connection with a broadband, MTNL is one of the best choice to pick. However, if other private vendors are available in your area, then I’ll recommend to use them instead of MTNL.
MTS is nowhere in the competition these days as they haven’t come up with anything in the GSM section. They are still offering a bunch of plans in the CDMA department, while relying too much on their data plans.
MTS once offered cheapest data plans and the connectivity was really good in the urban areas.
The brand also had good connectivity in rural areas.
The cost of voice and data plans were really affordable thus, making it in the reach of common man.
MTS is only available in a bunch of states thus, the connectivity at PAN India is out of question.
They have lacked behind in bringing modern infrastructure.
#10 Reliance Telecom
Their services started with the CDMA network which later came down to the GSM as well. Both of these made a huge impact on the existing players in the telecom industry and made millions of users in a span of couple of months.
It’s all because of the crazy features and cheapest price Reliance comes up with. They come up with cool offers which are nowhere else found. The same has got Reliance Jio this much success that within a span of six months, it has managed to top the list.
I still remember the launch of CDMA and then the GSM services by Reliance Telecom department.
They still have a lot of cool offers, which are cheaper than any other in the competition.
They were the first one to make mobile phones cheaper in India, which were earlier very costly.
Their connectivity in case of CDMA was rock solid and they still have PAN India coverage.
Their CDMA network is turned OFF now and only the GSM is working.
Even at the working duration, the reliability was a big question as their customer support system was not that good.
So, these were the top 10 best mobile SIM networks in India. If you are still looking for options, then here is an advice from my side. Other than the top 5-6 names I’ve added above, you shouldn’t go with any other. It’s all coming from personal experiences, based on years of using different mobile networks in India.