Postal Network of India and Kerala

Indian postal system is the largest in the world with a network of 1, 55,531 Post Offices, of which 1,39,882 (89.94 per cent) are in rural areas and 15,649 (10.26 per cent) are in urban areas of the country. On an average, 8,770 people are served by a post office in the country. In rural areas, a post office serves 6,455 people and in urban areas, a post office serves 29,458 people. Average area served by a post office is 21.14 square km. The postal network consists of four categories of Post Offices namely, Head Post Offices, Sub Post Offices, Extra departmental Sub Post Offices and Extra departmental Branch Post Offices.

Kerala Postal Circle includes the entire State of Kerala, the Union Territory of Lakshadweep islands, and Mahe under the Union Territory of Puducherry. In Kerala, every village has at least one post office. As on 30.09.2020, there are 5,063 post offices in the Circle, of which 1509 are Departmental post offices and the remaining 3,554 are Extra Departmental post offices, (Branch Post Offices). On an average, each post office in the State serves an area of 7.7 square km and a population of 6,613 as against the national average of 21.21 square km and a population of 7,175 people. 82.2 per cent of these post offices are in the rural areas. The District-wise distribution of the post offices in Kerala as on September 30, 2020 is given in Table 11.3.1.

Table 11.3.1 District-wise distribution of post offices as on September 30, 2020

Sl. No Name of District/Union Territory Number of Post Offices
1 Kasaragod 231
2 Kannur 382
3 Wayanad 163
4 UT of Puducherry (Mahe only) 4
5 Kozhikode 407
6 Malappuram 438
7 Palakkad 455
8 Thrissur 484
9 UT of Lakshadweep 10
10 Ernakulam 391
11 Idukki 296
12 Kottayam 409
13 Alappuzha 300
14 Pathanamthitta 312
15 Kollam 367
16 Thiruvananthapuram 414
TOTAL 5063

Source: Chief Post Master General, Kerala Circle, Thiruvananthapuram

Given the vast reach of the network in the State, continuous efforts are being made to increase access to postal facilities in newly developed urban/rural areas by opening new post offices or by upgrading existing Extra Departmental Post Offices (EDBOs) to full time post offices.

All Post Offices in Kerala have improved their functioning as a citizen hub. Every citizen now has access to this hub close to his/her doorstep. Details are shown in Appendix and 11.3.4.

Mail network in the State has been revamped with 14 speed post processing centres under 5 national hubs to facilitate technology induction for the purpose of monitoring and to provide track and trace facilities from the point of booking to delivery thereby increasing the quality of service. In the category of registered mails too, track and trace facility is now offered to customers. As part of a national policy, the Circle has also revamped the network for processing ordinary mails to ensure better quality of service in this sector.

Technology induction into the network
  • All the 1509 departmental post offices in the Circle are computerised.
  • Daily monitoring of the performance of core areas of post offices by Circle office in the core areas of delivery, money remittance, savings bank, and counter services.
  • Facility to register complaints on the web and track the progress till the final settlement of complaints.
  • The provision of track and trace facility for registered, insured, speed post, eMO and foreign accountable articles through the web

The new e- based and value added services of Kerala postal Circle is give in Table 11.3.2.

Table 11.3.2 e- based and value added services of Kerala Postal Circle

Sl. No. Type of Service Functions
1 ‘e post’ Service to send a communication speedily to the destination avoiding physical transmission but retaining the last mile reach through the Postman. As on March 31, 2020, 1334 post offices have been provided with this facility.
2 Many to One This facilitates sending of same ePost message from many senders to one recipient on recipient’s email box
3 One to Many It facilitates sending of same ePost message from a sender to multiple recipients on recipient’s email inbox
4 eMO This service was introduced in the year 2008 for remitting money to and from addressees within the country. Today, 98 per cent of the entire money order traffic is handled electronically. Today the number of post offices offering this service in Kerala is 1508.
5 iMO Discontinued in January 2020
6 e-payment The service enables collection of bills including utility bills on behalf of various service providers from all the computerised post offices and payment centrally to the client organisation as per the periodicity desired by them. This service is available in all 1508 (Head Post Offices and Sub Post Offices) Post offices in Kerala Postal Circle.
7 International Speed Post or EMS This is a facility that is available from India to 99 countries. 

Source: Chief Post Master General, Kerala Circle, Thiruvananthapuram

The following business initiatives are being undertaken by the Circle recently:

  1. Tie-up with the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations for the Collection of application fee and fee through e-Payment from the candidates who have got allotment in various Professional courses and other examinations conducted by the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations.
  2. Tie-up with Kerala Water Authority (KWA) for the Collection of water bills under e-Payment.
  3. Tie up with Adharva Associates (3 ePayment billers – Adharva Prepaid, Adharva Postpaid, KPAY) for recharging of prepaid mobile connections in Post offices through e-Payment service.
  4. Tie-up with Kerala State Council for Open and Lifelong Education (SCOLE-Kerala) for the collection of various fees from the students registered under SCOLE, Kerala through ePayment service.
  5. Tie-up with APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University for the collection, booking and delivery of sensitive examination materials of the university to 152 engineering colleges throughout Kerala.
  6. Tie-up with Controller of Technical Examinations, Kerala for the booking and dispatch of Sensitive Examination materials from 73 Polytechnic colleges, 11 Technical High Schools and 17 Government Commercial Institutes.
  7. Tie up with Kerala State Government for Corporate e-post to acknowledge complaints/letters from the public and e-post messages.
  8. Booking of Railway Reservation ticket through PRS facility.
  9. Post Office Passport Seva Kendra’s have been established at Pathanamthitta, Kavarati, Kasargod, Chengannur, Kattappana, Olavakkode, Attingal and Nenmara to facilitate the process of getting passport to the customers.
  10. In collaboration with UIDAI, Aadhaar Enrollment cum Updation Centres has been started.
  11. Sale of Ganga Jal sourced at Gangothri is being done.
  12. Kerala Postal Circle has entered into an agreement with M/s Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. for sale of LED bulbs, Tube lights and Energy Efficient fans distributed under UJALA.
  13. Tie up with CBSE for booking dispatch and delivery of sensitive examination materials of CBSE.
  14. Special bookings for NDA, State PSC, UPSC, SSC are done by arranging special speed post booking counters at the post offices of choice of the organisations.
  15. DoP has undertaken the project of distribution of Census material of Registrar General of India for Census 2021 to the administrative authorities up to Tehsil/Taluk level addresses throughout India.

As part of the efforts to promote philately as a hobby, various measures are being adopted by the Kerala Postal Circle, four philatelic bureaus have been set up for this purpose at Trivandrum GPO, Ernakulum H.O, Thrissur H.O, and Kozhikode H.O. These items of philately are also being made available through all the Head Post Offices in Kerala as well as 25 philately extension counters located across the State. These bureaus provide all the philately material brought out by India Post each year, to all the philatelists who have accounts with them as well as to any customer who wishes to purchase them within the first six months of their issue.


Kerala Circle Philatelic Exhibition (KERAPEX) 2019 was held at Thiruvananthapuram from 26.11.2019 to 29.11.2019. Seven Special covers including one carried cover, one satin cover on KERAPEX theme, and one Khadi cover on Gandhiji’s visit to Kerala were released during the exhibition. Pictorial Postcard pack of Kerala Circle containing all the Pictorial Cancellations of Kerala Circle and a pack of 15 Picture Postcards on important event in Gandhiji’s life containing original cancellation of the place of event were also released during KERAPEX 2019.


Telecommunication is one of the prime support services needed for rapid growth and modernisation of the economy. The telecommunication service in India has improved significantly since independence.

Telephone subscriber data

India is currently the world’s second largest telecommunications market with a total telephone subscriber base of 1,167.81 million as on August 31, 2020, of which 1,147.92 million constitutes wireless subscribers and 19.89 million wire-line subscribers.

The overall tele-density in India is 86.23 per cent (Wireless: 84.77 per cent and wire line: 1.47 per cent). In Kerala, the overall tele-density is well above the national average and is at 128.93 per cent and the telephone subscriber base is 45.72 million (44.28 wireless and 14.39 wired).

Telephone subscriber base in Kerala: Service provider-wise. The wireless telephone subscriber base of Kerala is given in Table 11.3.3.

Table 11.3.3 Wireless Telephone Subscriber Base of Kerala

BSNL Bharti Airtel Vodafone Idea Reliance Jio Reliance communications Total
1,09,50,711 59,44,643 1,77,19,606 96,70,481 709 4,42,86,150

Source: BSNL

In Kerala, total number of wireless subscribers is 4,42,86,150. Vodafone has largest wireless connectivity with 1,77,19,606 numbers, followed by BSNL 1,09,50,711 subscribers. Reliance communications has only 709 subscribers. The wireless market share of service providers is given in Figure 11.3.1.

Figure 11.3.1 Cargo Wireless market share of service providers
Source: BSNL
Figure 11.3.2 The Wire-line telephone subscriber base of Kerala
Source: BSNL

The Wire-line telephone subscriber base of Kerala is given in Table 11.3.4.

Table 11.3.4 Wire-line telephone subscriber base of Kerala

BSNL Bharti Airtel Vodafone Idea Reliance Jio Reliance communications Tata Telephones Total
13,16,646 60,245 6,090 28,238 8,295 19,620 14,39,134

Source: BSNL

Department of Telecommunications Single Emergency Number is given in the Box 11.3.1.

Box 11.3.1 Single number '112'
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has instructed Telecommunication Service Priorities (TSPs) to map Single Emergency Number ‘112’ with existing Emergency Number ‘100’ in all States /UTs in August 2016. At present Single Emergency Number 112 is operational and mapped on existing emergency number ‘100’ in all States/UTs except Delhi. 112 is designed to be used to replace the multiplicity of Emergency Numbers operations in India such as 100, 101, 102 and 108. The project is to be made operational by all States/UTs under the supervision of Ministry of Home Affairs through PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). When an emergency call is received at the PSAP, it would be answered by a specially trained officer/call taker/operator of respective State/UT that will transfer the call on the type of emergency, dispatchers to police, fire medical and other response mechanisms.
Internet subscriber data

The total number of internet subscribers in India stands at 749.07 million by the end of June 30, 2020. The number of subscribers accessing Wireless internet connection constitutes the major chunk with over 726.01 million subscribers contributing to 96.95 per cent of internet subscribers while the wired internet subscriber base stood at 23.06 million contributing to 3.07 per cent of the internet subscribers.

In Kerala the total internet subscriber base is at 27.44 million. The number of mobile towers in Kerala by service provider-wise is given in Table 11.3.5.

Table 11.3.5 Service provider-wise Telephone towers

BSNL Bharti Airtel Vodafone Idea Reliance Jio Total
6,012 7,007 8,593 10,101 31,713

Source: BSNL

The percentage share of mobile towers in Kerala is given in Figure 11.3.3.

Figure 11.3.3 Percentage share of mobile towers in Kerala
Source: BSNL

Kerala Telecom circles serve the whole of Kerala State, the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and part of Union Territory of Puducherry (Mahe). The circle has 11 major Secondary Switching Areas (SSAs) and one minor SSA of Lakshadweep. The status of telecom sector in Kerala as on June 30, 2020 is given in Box 11.3.2. More details are given in Appendix 11.3.5.

Box 11.3.2 Status of telecom sector in Kerala
  • No. of Telephone Exchanges: 1407
  • Equipped Capacity: 27,08,568
  • Working Connections: 1,26,51,432 {1,09,09,530 (Mobile) + 1,74,19,02 (Landline)}
  • Average No. of Telephone per square km: 320
  • Telephone Density: 378 per 1000 population

Source: Office of the Chief General Manager, BSNL, Kerala Circle

Communication Infrastructure

Government has taken some major projects capable of creating new employment and increasing the IT exports from the State. The focus was on expansion of the IT space in the IT parks, building roads and ramp; surface connectivity – especially to the IT hubs, power availability, promoting private projects in IT infrastructure, building social Infrastructure in IT hubs to ensure safety and air connectivity with major cities in India and abroad for better business connects, free WiFi in public places and IOT enabling.

Digital public services will provide services which are easier, quicker and more convenient for people to use, and at a lower cost than other methods. This will bring about public sector efficiencies and savings. The Government’s vision is to bridge the digital divide by 2020, create a digitally empowered society, and achieve sustainable economic growth.

Core infrastructure for e-governance in the State consists of Kerala State Wide Area Network (KSWAN), Secretariat Wide Area Network, State Data Centre, State Service Delivery Gateway and public WiFi project. KSWAN is the backbone of the State Information Infrastructure (SII), connecting Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode and extending to 14 districts and 152 block Panchayats of the State. The network will also connect 3,500 offices of Government departments through wireless and a large number through leased lines and Local Area Network. KSWAN is seamlessly integrated with two State Data Centres which enable the network to provide large number of Government to Government, Government to citizens’ services hosted in State Data Centres to the Government institutions through a secure intranet.

Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON)

The Government of Kerala has embarked on an ambitious journey to build a statewide optical fibre network – Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON), with a vision to “transform Kerala into an intelligent, innovative and inclusive society” paving way for digital life for all the residents of Kerala.

KFON network will function as a strong foundation for Digital Kerala architecture consisting of platforms for G2G, G2C, B2C interactions, enabling deployment of advanced applications for content delivery, smart cities, smart traffic management, video surveillance, financial inclusion, smart metering solutions and digital commerce which is expected to provide a wide array of opportunities for product and service incubators, a boost to the startup ecosystem in Kerala.

The Government of Kerala aims to build a dedicated Optic Fiber Network (Kerala State Fiber Network) connecting the State Head Quarters, Districts, the Block and Gram Panchayats in the State. A highly scalable network infrastructure has been envisioned for KFON which shall be accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on-demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps up to 100 Mbps for all households. The OFC shall be drawn with the association of the KSEB through the existing poles.

The proposed KFON network will be a forerunner to the digital transformation of Kerala by planning and implementing the mega infrastructure project to establish fibre optic connectivity across the State connecting all urban and rural areas to address the digital divide. BPL families will be provided free limited internet bandwidth up to 2 Mbps.