When it comes to the mobile network in Kashmir, the important thing that you should know is that only postpaid connections work in the valley. Irrespective of which network you were on, your phone will be dead as soon as you enter Kashmir if it was a prepaid connection.
But if it was a postpaid phone, you will have good reception and data connectivity in tourist destinations like Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. If you went a little offbeat, your phone may or may not work. Read on to find out more.
In this post below, I will talk in detail about the best mobile network in Kashmir. For any other details like how to reach, where to stay, places to visit, and things to do, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Kashmir – Complete Travel Guide.
Best Mobile Network in Kashmir
BSNL has the widest coverage in the Kashmir Valley but its services may not be that great always. Airtel and Jio are next in the line but they may not work in all places. Let us take a look at these network operators one by one.
In terms of coverage, BSNL has the widest network and works in the majority of the areas. In places like Srinagar, you will get good voice clarity, a strong network, and decent enough data speed.
If you went a bit remote, you will still get the network but the quality starts to get compromised. Data speed will drop drastically and the network will keep coming and going.
On an overall basis, BSNL works well in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam as long as you do not mind slower data speed.
Airtel possibly has the strongest network in Kashmir. You get a good quality network in most of the tourist spots with 4G data speed. Surprisingly, it also works in offbeat destinations like Doodhpathri, Yusmarg, and Aharbal.
Jio will be the third-best network in Kashmir. You will get a strong network and 4G data speed in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg. Jio also works very well in Gurez Valley but it doesn’t in other places like Doodhpathri, Yusmarg, Mughal Road, or Aharbal.
The services of Vodafone are not that good in Kashmir. It works very well in Srinagar city but disappoints in other areas. Even in places like Gulmarg and Pahalgam, the network was intermittent and data speed was also just average.
Much like Vodafone, the Idea network can work well in Srinagar city but not so well in other areas. You will get network in Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg but the quality will get compromised. It does not work at all in any other place.
Let me also break this information down by region.
Mobile Network in Gulmarg
No matter which network you are on, your phone will be working fine in Gulmarg as long as it was a postpaid connection. Data connectivity too will be good. Most of the hotels here have free Wi-Fi available with good data speed.
Gulmarg is the most visited destination in all of Kashmir. The facilities here are good and you will have no problem remaining connected.
The same remains to be the case with Drang Glacier which is located near Gulmarg.
For more details on traveling to Gulmarg, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Gulmarg.
Mobile Network in Sonamarg
All cellular companies have coverage in Sonamarg. No matter which network you are on, your phone will be working fine here. The reception will be strong and voice clarity satisfactory.
Data connectivity also will be good and you will have 4G. Most of the hotels here have wifi facilities with an average data speed of around 10 MBPS.
For other details on visiting Sonamarg, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Sonamarg.
Mobile Network in Pahalgam
All cellular companies have good coverage in Pahalgam and you will get 4G data as well. No matter which network you were on, your phone will work fine in Pahalgam.
The reception will hold strong in Betaab Valley and Aru Valley as well but you may lose network in Chandanwari sometimes. There is no reception in Baisaran Valley or Tulian Valley though.
All the hotels here have free wifi available. BSNL currently provides internet services in Pahalgam. The last time I was there, I heard that Airtel and Jio were planning to bring Fiber internet to Pahalgam after which it will only get even better.
For other details on visiting Pahalgam, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Pahalgam.
Mobile Network in Gurez Valley
MTNL / BSNL has the widest coverage in this area. Jio has the strongest network in and around Dawar and provides 4G data speed.
All postpaid phones will work till Bandipore. But once you cross over Razdan Pass, only a postpaid BSNL or Jio phone will continue to work. Apart from BSNL and Jio, no other network works in Gurez Valley.
If you were planning to go to Chakwali, then Jio will also stop working shortly after Dawar.
For other details on visiting Gurez, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Gurez Valley.
Mobile Network in Doodhpathri
BSNL and Airtel postpaid phones work well in Doodhpathri but only near the meadow. As you reach the JKTDC resort and the Shaliganga river, you will lose reception.
Vodafone and Idea work only as far as Khan Sahib but not after that. Jio connection I believe also works only till Khan Sahib only.
For other details on visiting Doodhpathri, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Doodhpathri.
Mobile Network in Yusmarg
Airtel and BSNL postpaid phones work in Yusmarg but the reception will be very bad. You will have to walk around a bit with your phone in your hand looking for a place where you can get the network bars. Data speed will be very poor.
Vodafone and Idea have no service in Yusmarg. You will lose network a little before Charar-e-Shariff. Jio phones also do not work in Yusmarg.
For other details on visiting Yusmarg, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Yusmarg.
Mobile Network in Aharbal
If you have a BSNL, Airtel, or Jio postpaid phone, you will have full connectivity in Aharbal as well. Vodafone wasn’t working the last time I was there but I heard that it would be soon.
I cannot comment about the Idea phones since none of us was carrying one. But as far as I know, Idea doesn’t work in Aharbal.
For other details on visiting Aharbal, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Aharbal Waterfall.
Mobile Network in Srinagar
If you had a postpaid connection, then you will have full connectivity in Srinagar city, irrespective of the network you are on.
Mobile Network on Mughal Road
If you had a postpaid phone, it will work on the majority of the Mughal Road. The only part where you may lose network is on and around Peer ki Gali Pass.
At the rest of the places, there will be a stable network. You will get 4G data at all the places except for Peer ki Gali.
This stands true for Airtel and Jio. Vodafone and Idea may not work so well on the entire stretch. With BSNL, you will have a good network but the data speed will be a little slow.
Which Mobile Network Works Best in Kashmir?
BSNL has the widest network in Kashmir but Airtel is better in terms of the quality of the network. Jio works decently well but the services of Vodafone and Idea are not that great.
I hope the information above on mobile network in Kashmir was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live there or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.