Airtel owns 20% of base stations in India

Bharti Airtel leads in the number of mobile base stations in India, while Vodafone comes second and BSNL is placed third, according to official numbers.

In all, India had a total of 736,654 mobile base stations as of the end of October, 2012. The highest number of mobile base stations are in Maharashtra, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (see chart below.)

Airtel has nearly 1.48 lakh base stations, while Vodafone has 1.19 lakh and BSNL has 99,911 base stations (see chart above.)

Among the new operators, the largest number of base station was with Aircel, 56,162, followed by Uninor, which had about 23,900.

Among the states, the lowest number of base stations is in Himachal Pradesh.

The number of base stations may not relate directly to the number of mobile towers, as more than one base station can be hoisted on one tower. In addition, the above numbers also include CDMA stations.