Telecommunications includes a broad range of technology including
telephone and cable, data communications, wireless communications
systems, satellite and internet technology. Global markets, electronic
commerce, and the internet have served as a catalyst for the worldwide
demand for telecommunications products and services which is currently
valued at more than US$1 trillion per year.
Success in this environment requires competent problem solving skills in
combination with a strong technical foundation. Accompanying these
changes is a multitude of career opportunities for aspiring
telecommunications and networking professionals. College graduates who
have been formally educated in the discipline of telecommunications and
networking are currently in high demand and the long term career
opportunities are boundless in potential.
Telecommunication is the transmission of messages, over significant
distances, for the purpose of communication. In earlier times,
telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as smoke,
semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio
messages via coded drumbeats, lung-blown horns, or sent by loud whistles,
In the modern age of electricity and electronics, telecommunications has
typically involved the use of electric means such as the telegraph, the
telephone, and the teletype, the use of microwave communications, the use
of fiber optics and their associated electronics, and/or the use of the Internet.
The first breakthrough into modern electrical telecommunications came with
the development of the telegraph during the 1830s and 1840s. The use of
these electrical means of communications exploded into use on all of the
continents of the world during the 19th century, and these also connected the
continents via cables on the floors of the ocean. These three systems of
communications all required the use of conducting metal wires.
A revolution in wireless telecommunications began in the first decade of the
20th century, with Guglielmo Marconi winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in
1909 for his pioneering developments in wireless radio communications.
Other early inventors and developers in the field of electrical and electronic
telecommunications included Samuel F.B. Morse and Joseph Henry of the
United States, Alexander Graham Bell of Canada, Lee de Forest of the U.S.,
who invented the amplifying vacuum tube called the triode, Edwin
Armstrong of the U.S., John Logie Baird of England, and Nikola Tesla
whose most important inventions were created in the United States.
Telecommunications play an important role in the world economy and the
worldwide telecommunication industry's revenue was estimated to be $3.85
trillion in 2008. The service revenue of the global telecommunications
industry was estimated to be $1.7 trillion in 2008, and is expected to touch
$2.7 trillion by 2013.
Analog or digital communications?
Communications signals can be either by analog signals or digital signals.
There are analog communication systems and digital communication
systems. For an analog signal, the signal is varied continuously with respect
to the information. In a digital signal, the information is encoded as a set of
discrete values (for example, a set of ones and zeros). During the
propagation and reception, the information contained in analog signals will
inevitably be degraded by undesirable physical noise. (The output of a
transmitter is noise-free for all practical purposes.) Commonly, the noise in a
communication system can be expressed as adding or subtracting from the
desirable signal in a completely random way. This form of noise is called
"additive noise", with the understanding that the noise can be negative or
positive at different instants of time. Noise that is not additive noise is a
much more difficult situation to describe or analyze, and these other kinds of
noise will be omitted here.
On the other hand, unless the additive noise disturbance exceeds a certain
threshold, the information contained in digital signals will remain intact.
Their resistance to noise represents a key advantage of digital signals over
 Communications networks
A communications network is a collection of transmitters, receivers, and
communications channels that send messages to one another. Some digital
communications networks contain one or more routers that work together to transmit
information to the correct user. An analog communications network consists of one or
more switches that establish a connection between two or more users. For both types of
network, repeaters may be necessary to amplify or recreate the signal when it is being
transmitted over long distances. This is to combat attenuation that can render the signal
indistinguishable from the noise.
Society and telecommunication
Telecommunication has a significant social, cultural and economic impact
on modern society. In 2008, estimates placed the telecommunication
industry's revenue at $3.85 trillion (USD) or just under 3% of the gross
world product (official exchange rate). The following sections discuss the
impact of telecommunication on society.
Telecommunication has played a significant role in social relationships.
Nevertheless devices like the telephone were originally advertised with an
emphasis on the practical dimensions of the device (such as the ability to
conduct business or order home services) as opposed to the social
dimensions. It was not until the late 1920s and 1930s that the social
dimensions of the device became a prominent theme in telephone
advertisements. New promotions started appealing to consumers' emotions,
stressing the importance of social conversations and staying connected to
family and friends.
Since then the role that telecommunications has played in social relations
has become increasingly important. In recent years, the popularity of social
networking sites has increased dramatically. These sites allow users to
communicate with each other as well as post photographs, events and
profiles for others to see. The profiles can list a person's age, interests,
sexuality and relationship status. In this way, these sites can play important
role in everything from organising social engagements to courtship.
Prior to social networking sites, technologies like SMS and the telephone
also had a significant impact on social interactions. In 2000, market research
group Ipsos MORI reported that 81% of 15 to 24 year-old SMS users in the
United Kingdom had used the service to coordinate social arrangements and
42% to flirt.
In cultural terms, telecommunication has increased the public's ability to
access to music and film. With television, people can watch films they have
not seen before in their own home without having to travel to the video store
or cinema. With radio and the Internet, people can listen to music they have
not heard before without having to travel to the music store.
Telecommunication has also transformed the way people receive their news.
A survey by the non-profit Pew Internet and American Life Project found
that when just over 3,000 people living in the United States were asked
where they got their news "yesterday", more people said television or radio
than newspapers. The results are summarised in the following table (the
percentages add up to more than 100% because people were able to specify
more than one source).
Local TV National TV Radio Local paper Internet National paper
59% 47% 44% 38% 23% 12%
Telecommunication has had an equally significant impact on advertising.
TNS Media Intelligence reported that in 2007, 58% of advertising
expenditure in the United States was spent on mediums that depend upon
telecommunication. The results are summarised in the following table.
Inter Radi Cabl Syndica Spot Netwo Newspa Magaz Outdo
net o e TV ted TV TV rk TV per ine or
Perce 12.1 11.3 100.1
7.6% 7.2% 2.8% 17.1% 18.9% 20.4% 2.7%
nt % % %
$10. $18. $16.
Dolla 69 02 $4.17 82 $25.42 $28.22 $30.33 $4.02 $149
rs billio billio billion billio billion billion billion billion billion
n n n
Optical fibre provides cheaper bandwidth for long distance communication
In an analog telephone network, the caller is connected to the person he
wants to talk to by switches at various telephone exchanges. The switches
form an electrical connection between the two users and the setting of these
switches is determined electronically when the caller dials the number. Once
the connection is made, the caller's voice is transformed to an electrical
signal using a small microphone in the caller's handset. This electrical signal
is then sent through the network to the user at the other end where it is
transformed back into sound by a small speaker in that person's handset.
There is a separate electrical connection that works in reverse, allowing the
users to converse.
 Radio and television
Digital television standards and their adoption worldwide.
In a broadcast system, the central high-powered broadcast tower transmits a
high-frequency electromagnetic wave to numerous low-powered receivers.
The high-frequency wave sent by the tower is modulated with a signal
containing visual or audio information. The receiver is then tuned so as to
pick up the high-frequency wave and a demodulator is used to retrieve the
signal containing the visual or audio information. The broadcast signal can
be either analog (signal is varied continuously with respect to the
information) or digital (information is encoded as a set of discrete values).
The broadcast media industry is at a critical turning point in its development,
with many countries moving from analog to digital broadcasts. This move is
made possible by the production of cheaper, faster and more capable
integrated circuits. The chief advantage of digital broadcasts is that they
prevent a number of complaints with traditional analog broadcasts. For
television, this includes the elimination of problems such as snowy pictures,
ghosting and other distortion. These occur because of the nature of analog
transmission, which means that perturbations due to noise will be evident in
the final output. Digital transmission overcomes this problem because digital
signals are reduced to discrete values upon reception and hence small
perturbations do not affect the final output. In a simplified example, if a
binary message 1011 was transmitted with signal amplitudes [1.0 0.0 1.0
1.0] and received with signal amplitudes [0.9 0.2 1.1 0.9] it would still
decode to the binary message 1011 — a perfect reproduction of what was
sent. From this example, a problem with digital transmissions can also be
seen in that if the noise is great enough it can significantly alter the decoded
message. Using forward error correction a receiver can correct a handful of
bit errors in the resulting message but too much noise will lead to
incomprehensible output and hence a breakdown of the transmission.
 The Internet
The OSI reference model
The Internet is a worldwide network of computers and computer networks
that can communicate with each other using the Internet Protocol. Any
computer on the Internet has a unique IP address that can be used by other
computers to route information to it. Hence, any computer on the Internet
can send a message to any other computer using its IP address. These
messages carry with them the originating computer's IP address allowing for
two-way communication. The Internet is thus an exchange of messages
As of 2008, an estimated 21.9% of the world population has access to the
Internet with the highest access rates (measured as a percentage of the
population) in North America (73.6%), Oceania/Australia (59.5%) and
Europe (48.1%). In terms of broadband access, Iceland (26.7%), South
Korea (25.4%) and the Netherlands (25.3%) led the world.
The Internet works in part because of protocols that govern how the
computers and routers communicate with each other. The nature of computer
network communication lends itself to a layered approach where individual
protocols in the protocol stack run more-or-less independently of other
protocols. This allows lower-level protocols to be customized for the
network situation while not changing the way higher-level protocols operate.
A practical example of why this is important is because it allows an Internet
browser to run the same code regardless of whether the computer it is
running on is connected to the Internet through an Ethernet or Wi-Fi
connection. Protocols are often talked about in terms of their place in the
OSI reference model (pictured on the right), which emerged in 1983 as the
first step in an unsuccessful attempt to build a universally adopted
networking protocol suite.
For the Internet, the physical medium and data link protocol can vary several
times as packets traverse the globe. This is because the Internet places no
constraints on what physical medium or data link protocol is used. This
leads to the adoption of media and protocols that best suit the local network
situation. In practice, most intercontinental communication will use the
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) protocol (or a modern equivalent) on
top of optic fibre. This is because for most intercontinental communication
the Internet shares the same infrastructure as the public switched telephone
At the network layer, things become standardized with the Internet Protocol
(IP) being adopted for logical addressing. For the World Wide Web, these
"IP addresses" are derived from the human readable form using the Domain
Name System (e.g. 18.104.22.168 is derived from www.google.com). At the
moment, the most widely used version of the Internet Protocol is version
four but a move to version six is imminent.
At the transport layer, most communication adopts either the Transmission
Control Protocol (TCP) or the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). TCP is used
when it is essential every message sent is received by the other computer
where as UDP is used when it is merely desirable. With TCP, packets are
retransmitted if they are lost and placed in order before they are presented to
higher layers. With UDP, packets are not ordered or retransmitted if lost.
Both TCP and UDP packets carry port numbers with them to specify what
application or process the packet should be handled by. Because certain
application-level protocols use certain ports, network administrators can
manipulate traffic to suit particular requirements. Examples are to restrict
Internet access by blocking the traffic destined for a particular port or to
affect the performance of certain applications by assigning priority.
Above the transport layer, there are certain protocols that are sometimes
used and loosely fit in the session and presentation layers, most notably the
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols.
These protocols ensure that the data transferred between two parties remains
completely confidential and one or the other is in use when a padlock
appears in the address bar of your web browser. Finally, at the application
layer, are many of the protocols Internet users would be familiar with such
as HTTP (web browsing), POP3 (e-mail), FTP (file transfer), IRC (Internet
chat), BitTorrent (file sharing) and OSCAR (instant messaging).
Bharti – Zain deal is sealed, the 10.3 billion dollar deal leapfrogs the largest Telecom
provider in India, Bharti, to the top 5 in the world. Before this deal they were placed at
10th amongst the top telecom companies in the world.
Here are top Telecom Companies in the World:
Top 15 Telecom Companies in World
Rank Company Name Subscribers
1 China Mobile 522 Mln
2 Vodafone Group 333 Mln
3 Telefonica 202 Mln
4 AmericaMovil 201 Mln
5 Telenor Group 172 Mln
6 Deutsche Telecom 151 Mln
7 China Unicom 148 Mln
8 TeliaSonera 148 Mln
9 France Telecom 133 Mln
10 Bharti Airtel 125 Mln
11 MTN Group 116 Mln
12 Mobile Telesystems 102 Mln
13 Reliance Communications 100 Mln
14 Orascom Telecom 93 Mln
15 AT&T 85 Mln
These figures are based as of end- February 2010.
If you add Zain’s 42 Million subscribers in 15 African countries now coming under
Bharti’s Umbrella – The Total Subscriber base of Bharti Airtel goes to 167 million
Subscribers, which puts it firmly in 5th position
We also have Reliance Communication which just celebrated the 100 millionth
connection and is placed at 13th position !
Also, with the kind of growth Indian Telecom Industry is witnessing, I see Bharti coming
in top 3 position probably by end of this year.
Some bragging rights there…uhhh !
The Indian telecommunications industry is the world's fastest growing
telecommunications industry, with 671.69 Million telephone (landlines and mobile)
subscribers and 635.51 Million mobile phone connections as of June 2010  It is also the
second largest telecommunication network in the world in terms of number of wireless
connections after China. The Indian Mobile subscriber base has increased in size by a
factor of more than one-hundred since 2001 when the number of subscribers in the
country was approximately 5 million to 635.51 Million in June 2010.
As the fastest growing telecommunications industry in the world, it is projected that India
will have 1.159 billion mobile subscribers by 2013. Furthermore, projections by
several leading global consultancies indicate that the total number of subscribers in India
will exceed the total subscriber count in the China by 2013. The industry is expected
to reach a size of Rs 344,921 crore (US$ 73.47 billion) by 2012 at a growth rate of over
26 per cent, and generate employment opportunities for about 10 million people during
the same period. According to analysts, the sector would create direct employment for
2.8 million people and for 7 million indirectly. In 2008-09 the overall telecom
equipments revenue in India stood at Rs 136,833 crore (US$ 29.15 billion) during the
fiscal, as against Rs 115,382 crore (US$ 24.58 billion) a year before.
• 1 Modern growth
• 2 History
o 2.1 Introduction of telegraph
o 2.2 Introduction of the telephone
o 2.3 Further developments
2.3.1 Indian telecom sector: recent policies
• 3 Emergence as a major player
o 3.1 Privatization of telcommunications in India
o 3.2 Telecommunications Regulatory Environment in India
• 4 Revenue and growth
• 5 Telephone
o 5.1 Mobile telephones
o 5.2 Landlines
• 6 Internet
o 6.1 Low Speed Broadband (256 kbit/s - 2 mbit/s)
o 6.2 High Speed Broadband (over 2 Mbit/s)
o 6.3 Statistics
• 7 Broadcasting
• 8 Next generation networks
• 9 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
• 10 International
o 10.1 Submarine cables
• 11 Telecom Training in India
• 12 See also
• 13 External links
• 14 References
 Modern growth
A large population, low telephony penetration levels, and a rise in consumers' income and
spending owing to strong economic growth have helped make India the fastest-growing
telecom market in the world. The first operator is the state-owned incumbent BSNL.
BSNL was created by corporatization of the erstwhile DTS (Department of
Telecommunication Services), a government unit responsible for provision of telephony
services. Subsequently, after the telecommunication policies were revised to allow
private operators, companies such as Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Tata Indicom, Idea
Cellular, Aircel and Loop Mobile have entered the space. see major operators in India. In
2008-09, rural India outpaced urban India in mobile growth rate. Bharti Airtel now is the
largest telecom company in India.
India's mobile phone market is the fastest growing in the world, with companies adding
some 20.31 million new customers in March 2010.
The total number of telephones in the country crossed the 600 million mark in Feb
2010.The overall tele-density has increased to 44.85% in Oct 2009.Telecom Regulatory
Authority of India,Information note to the Press (Press Release No. 61 / 2007), 20 Jun
2007 In the wireless segment, 19 million subscribers have been added in Dec 2009. The
total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL (F)) base is more than 543.20 million
now. The wireline segment subscriber base stood at 37.06 million with a decline of 0.12
million in Dec 2009.
Telecom in the real sense means transfer of information between two distant points in
space. The popular meaning of telecom always involves electrical signals and nowadays
people exclude postal or any other raw telecommunication methods from its meaning.
Therefore, the history of Indian telecom can be started with the introduction of telegraph.
 Introduction of telegraph
The postal and telecom sectors had a slow and uneasy start in India. In 1850, the first
experimental electric telegraph Line was started between Kolkata and Diamond Harbor.
In 1851, it was opened for the British East India Company. The Posts and Telegraphs
department occupied a small corner of the Public Works Department, at that time.
Construction of 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of telegraph lines connecting Kolkata (Calcutta)
and Peshawar in the north along with Agra, Mumbai (Bombay) through Sindwa Ghats,
and Chennai in the south, as well as Ootacamund and Bangalore was started in November
1853. Dr. William O'Shaughnessy, who pioneered telegraph and telephone in India,
belonged to the Public Works Department. He worked towards the development of
telecom throughout this period. A separate department was opened in 1854 when
telegraph facilities were opened to the public.
 Introduction of the telephone
In 1880, two telephone companies namely The Oriental Telephone Company Ltd. and
The Anglo-Indian Telephone Company Ltd. approached the Government of India to
establish telephone exchanges in India. The permission was refused on the grounds that
the establishment of telephones was a Government monopoly and that the Government
itself would undertake the work. In 1881, the Government later reversed its earlier
decision and a licence was granted to the Oriental Telephone Company Limited of
England for opening telephone exchanges at Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai (Madras) and
Ahmedabad and the first formal telephone service was established in the country. 28
January 1882, is a Red Letter Day in the history of telephone in India. On this day Major
E. Baring, Member of the Governor General of India's Council declared open the
Telephone Exchange in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. The exchange at Kolkata named
"Central Exchange" was opened at third floor of the building at 7, Council House Street.
The Central Telephone Exchange had 93 number of subscribers. Bombay also witnessed
the opening of Telephone Exchange in 1882.
 Further developments
BSNL Microwave Tower Mangalore.
• 1902 - First wireless telegraph station established between Sagar Islands and
• 1907 - First Central Battery of telephones introduced in Kanpur.
• 1913-1914 - First Automatic Exchange installed in Shimla.
• 23 July 1927 - Radio-telegraph system between the UK and India, with beam
stations at Khadki and Daund, inaugurated by Lord Irwin by exchanging greetings
with the King of England.
• 1933 - Radiotelephone system inaugurated between the UK and India.
• 1953 - 12 channel carrier system introduced.
• 1960 - First subscriber trunk dialing route commissioned between Kanpur and
• 1975 - First PCM system commissioned between Mumbai City and Andheri
• 1976 - First digital microwave junction introduced.
• 1979 - First optical fibre system for local junction commissioned at Pune.
• 1980 - First satellite earth station for domestic communications established at
• 1983 - First analog Stored Program Control exchange for trunk lines
commissioned at Mumbai.
• 1984 - C-DOT established for indigenous development and production of digital
• 1985 - First mobile telephone service started on non-commercial basis in Delhi.
While all the major cities and towns in the country were linked with telephones during
the British period, the total number of telephones in 1948 was only around 80,000. Even
after independence, growth was extremely slow. The telephone was a status symbol
rather than being an instrument of utility. The number of telephones grew leisurely to
980,000 in 1971, 2.15 million in 1981 and 5.07 million in 1991, the year economic
reforms were initiated in the country.
While certain innovative steps were taken from time to time, as for example introduction
of the telex service in Mumbai in 1953 and commissioning of the first [subscriber trunk
dialing] route between Delhi and Kanpur in 1960, the first waves of change were set
going by Sam Pitroda in the eighties. He brought in a whiff of fresh air. The real
transformation in scenario came with the announcement of the National Telecom Policy
 Indian telecom sector: recent policies
• All the villages shall be covered by telecom facility by the end of 2002.
• The Communication Convergence Bill 2001introduced in the Parliament on
August 31, 2001 is presently before the Standing Committee of Parliament on
Telecom and IT.
• National Long Distance Service (NLD) is opened for unrestricted entry.
• The International Long Distance Services (ILDS) have been opened to
• The basic services are open to competition.
• In addition to the existing three, fourth cellular operator, one each in four metros
and thirteen circles, has been permitted. The cellular operators have been
permitted to provide all types of mobile services including voice and non-voice
messages, data services and PCOs utilizing any type of network equipment,
including circuit and/or package switches that meet certain required standards.
• Policies allowing private participation have been announced as per the New
Telecom Policy (NTP), 1999 in several new services, which include Global
Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) Service, digital Public
Mobile Radio Trunked Service (PMRTS), Voice Mail/ Audiotex/ Unified
• Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) has been introduced for providing telephone
connections in urban, semi-urban and rural areas promptly.
• Two telecom PSUs, VSNL and HTL have been disinvested.
• Steps are being taken to fulfill Universal Service Obligation (USO), its funding
• A decision to permit Mobile Community Phone Service has been announced.
• Multiple Fixed Service Providers (FSPs) licensing guidelines were announced.
• Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been allowed to set up International
Internet Gateways, both Satellite and Landing stations for submarine optical fiber
• Two categories of infrastructure providers have been allowed to provide end-to-
end bandwidth and dark fiber, right of way, towers, duct space etc.
• Guidelines have been issued by the Government to open up Internet telephony
 Emergence as a major player
In 1975, the Department of Telecom (DoT) was separated from P&T. DoT was
responsible for telecom services in entire country until 1985 when Mahanagar Telephone
Nigam Limited (MTNL) was carved out of DoT to run the telecom services of Delhi and
Mumbai. In 1990s the telecom sector was opened up by the Government for private
investment as a part of Liberalisation-Privatization-Globalization policy. Therefore, it
became necessary to separate the Government's policy wing from its operations wing.
The Government of India corporatised the operations wing of DoT on 1 October 2000
and named it as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Many private operators, such as
Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Vodafone, Loop Mobile, Airtel, Idea etc.,
successfully entered the high potential Indian telecom market.
 Privatization of telcommunications in India
The Indian government was composed of many factions (parties) which had different
ideologies. Some of them were willing to throw open the market to foreign players (the
centrists) and others wanted the government to regulate infrastructure and restrict the
involvement of foreign players. Due to this political background it was very difficult to
bring about liberalization in telecommunications. When a bill was in parliament a
majority vote had to be passed, and such a majority was difficult to obtain, given to the
number of parties having different ideologies.
Liberalization started in 1981 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed contracts with
Alcatel CIT of France to merge with the state owned Telecom Company (ITI), in an
effort to set up 5,000,000 lines per year. But soon the policy was let down because of
political opposition. She invited Sam Pitroda a US based NRI to set up a Center for
Development of Telematics(C-DOT), however the plan failed due to political reasons.
During this period, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, under the leadership of Rajiv
Gandhi, many public sector organizations were set up like the Department of
Telecommunications (DoT) , VSNL and MTNL. Many technological developments took
place in this regime but still foreign players were not allowed to participate in the
The demand for telephones was ever increasing. It was during this period that the P.N
Rao led government introduced the national telecommunications policy [NTP] in 1994
which brought changes in the following areas: ownership, service and regulation of
telecommunications infrastructure. They were also successful in establishing joint
ventures between state owned telecom companies and international players. But still
complete ownership of facilities was restricted only to the government owned
organizations. Foreign firms were eligible to 49% of the total stake. The multi-nationals
were just involved in technology transfer, and not policy making.
During this period, the World Bank and ITU had advised the Indian Government to
liberalize long distance services in order to release the monopoly of the state owned DoT
and VSNL; and to enable competition in the long distance carrier business which would
help reduce tariff's and better the economy of the country. The Rao run government
instead liberalized the local services, taking the opposite political parties into confidence
and assuring foreign involvement in the long distance business after 5 years. The country
was divided into 20 telecommunication circles for basic telephony and 18 circles for
mobile services. These circles were divided into category A, B and C depending on the
value of the revenue in each circle. The government threw open the bids to one private
company per circle along with government owned DoT per circle. For cellular service
two service providers were allowed per circle and a 15 years license was given to each
provider. During all these improvements, the government did face oppositions from ITI,
DoT, MTNL, VSNL and other labor unions, but they managed to keep away from all the
After 1995 the government set up TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) which
reduced the interference of Government in deciding tariffs and policy making. The DoT
opposed this. The political powers changed in 1999 and the new government under the
leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was more pro-reforms and introduced better
liberalization policies. They split DoT in two- one policy maker and the other service
provider (DTS) which was later renamed as BSNL. The proposal of raising the stake of
foreign investors from 49% to 74% was rejected by the opposite political party and leftist
thinkers. Domestic business groups wanted the government to privatize VSNL. Finally in
April 2002, the government decided to cut its stake of 53% to 26% in VSNL and to throw
it open for sale to private enterprises. TATA finally took 25% stake in VSNL.
This was a gateway to many foreign investors to get entry into the Indian Telecom
Markets. After March 2000, the government became more liberal in making policies and
issuing licenses to private operators. The government further reduced license fees for
cellular service providers and increased the allowable stake to 74% for foreign
companies. Because of all these factors, the service fees finally reduced and the call costs
were cut greatly enabling every common middle class family in India to afford a cell
phone. Nearly 32 million handsets were sold in India. The data reveals the real potential
for growth of the Indian mobile market.
In March 2008 the total GSM and CDMA mobile subscriber base in the country was 375
million, which represented a nearly 50% growth when compared with previous year.
As the unbranded Chinese cell phones which do not have International Mobile
Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers pose a serious security risk to the country, Mobile
network operators therefore planned to suspend the usage of around 30 million mobile
phones (about 8 % of all mobiles in the country) by 30 April. 5–6 years the average
monthly subscribers additions were around 0.05 to 0.1 million only and the total mobile
subscribers base in December 2002 stood at 10.5 millions. However, after a number of
proactive initiatives were taken by regulators and licensors, the total number of mobile
subscribers has increased greatly to 617 million subscribers as of May 2010.
India has opted for the use of both the GSM (global system for mobile communications)
and CDMA (code-division multiple access) technologies in the mobile sector. In addition
to landline and mobile phones, some of the companies also provide the WLL service. The
mobile tariffs in India have also become lowest in the world. A new mobile connection
can be activated with a monthly commitment of US$0.15 only. In 2005 alone additions
increased to around 2 million per month in the year 2003-04 and 2004-05.
In June 2009, the Government of India banned the import of several mobile phones
manufactured in China citing concerns over quality and the lack of IMEI's which make it
difficult for authorities in India to track the sale and use of such phones. In April 2010,
the Government was also reported to be blocking Indian service providers from
purchasing Chinese mobile technology citing concerns that Chinese hackers could
compromise the Indian telecommunications network during times of national emergency.
A series of attacks on Indian government websites and computer networks by suspected
Chinese hackers has also made Indian regulators suspicious with regards to the import of
potentially sensitive equipment from China. The companies reported to be affected by
this are Huawei Technologies and ZTE.
 Telecommunications Regulatory Environment in India
LIRNEasia's Telecommunications Regulatory Environment (TRE) index, which
summarizes stakeholders’ perception on certain TRE dimensions, provides insight into
how conducive the environment is for further development and progress. The most recent
survey was conducted in July 2008 in eight Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India,
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines. The tool
measured seven dimensions: i) market entry; ii) access to scarce resources; iii)
interconnection; iv) tariff regulation; v) anti-competitive practices; and vi) universal
services; vii) quality of service, for the fixed, mobile and broadband sectors.
The results for India, point out to the fact that the stakeholders perceive the TRE to be
most conducive for the mobile sector followed by fixed and then broadband. Other than
for Access to Scarce Resources the fixed sector lags behind the mobile sector. The fixed
and mobile sectors have the highest scores for Tariff Regulation. Market entry also scores
well for the mobile sector as competition is well entrenched with most of the circles with
4-5 mobile service providers. The broadband sector has the lowest score in the aggregate.
The low penetration of broadband of mere 3.87 against the policy objective of 9 million
at then end of 2007 clearly indicates that the regulatory environment is not very
 Revenue and growth
The total revenue in the telecom service sector was Rs. 86,720 crore in 2005-06 as
against Rs. 71, 674 crore in 2004-2005, registering a growth of 21%. The total investment
in the telecom services sector reached Rs. 200,660 crore in 2005-06, up from Rs. 178,831
crore in the previous fiscal.
Telecommunication is the lifeline of the rapidly growing Information Technology
industry. Internet subscriber base has risen to 6.94 million in 2005-2006. Out of this 1.35
million were broadband connections. More than a billion people use the internet
Under the Bharat Nirman Programme, the Government of India will ensure that 66,822
revenue villages in the country, which have not yet been provided with a Village Public
Telephone (VPT), will be connected. However doubts have been raised about what it
would mean for the poor in the country.
It is difficult to ascertain fully the employment potential of the telecom sector but the
enormity of the opportunities can be gauged from the fact that there were 3.7 million
Public Call Offices in December 2005 up from 2.3 million in December 2004.
The value added services (VAS) market within the mobile industry in India has the
potential to grow from $500 million in 2006 to a whopping $10 billion by 2009.
On landlines, intra-circle calls are considered local calls while inter-circle are considered
long distance calls. Currently Government is working to integrate the whole country in
one telecom circle. For long distance calls, the area code prefixed with a zero is dialed
first which is then followed by the number (i.e. To call Delhi, 011 would be dialed first
followed by the phone number). For international calls, "00" must be dialed first followed
by the country code, area code and local phone number. The country code for India is 91.
Telephony Subscribers (Wireless and Landline): 621.28 million (Mar 2010) 
Land Lines: 36.96 million (Mar 2010)
Cell phones: 617.53 million (May 2010)
Yearly Cell phone Addition: 178.25 million (Jan-Dec 2009)
Monthly Cell phone Addition: 20.31 million (Mar 2010) 
Teledensity: 52.74% (Mar 2010) 
Projected Teledensity: 1 billion, 84% of population by 2012.
 Mobile telephones
See also: List of mobile network operators of India
The Mobile telecommunications system in India is the second largest in the world and it
was thrown open to private players in the 1990s. The country is divided into multiple
zones, called circles (roughly along state boundaries). Government and several private
players run local and long distance telephone services. Competition has caused prices to
drop and calls across India are one of the cheapest in the world. The rates are supposed
to go down further with new measures to be taken by the Information Ministry. The
mobile service has seen phenomenal growth since 2000. In September 2004, the number
of mobile phone connections have crossed fixed-line connections. India primarily follows
the GSM mobile system, in the 900 MHz band. Recent operators also operate in the
1800 MHz band. The dominant players are Airtel, Reliance Infocomm, Vodafone, Idea
cellular and BSNL/MTNL. There are many smaller players, with operations in only a few
states. International roaming agreements exist between most operators and many foreign
India is divided into 23 telecom circles. They are listed below:
• Andhra Pradesh
• Bihar & Jharkhand
• Gujarat & Daman & Diu
• Himachal Pradesh
• Jammu and Kashmir
• Kerala & Lakshadweep
• Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh
• Maharashtra & Goa (excluding Mumbai)
• North Eastern States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram,
Nagaland, & Tripura)
• Tamil Nadu excluding Chennai & Puducherry
• Eastern Uttar Pradesh
• Western Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand
• West Bengal excluding Kolkata, Andaman & Nicobar Islands & Sikkim
Until recently, only the Government-owned BSNL and MTNL were allowed to provide
landline phone services through copper wire in India with MTNL operating in Delhi and
Mumbai and BSNL servicing all other areas of the country. Private operators such as
Touchtel and Tata Teleservices have entered the market however, the primary focus of
their business is on the mobile-phone sector. Due to the rapid growth of the
cellular phone industry in India, landlines are facing stiff competition from cellular
operators. This has forced landline service providers to become more efficient and
improve their quality of service. Landline connections are now also available on demand,
even in high density urban areas. The breakup of wireline subscriber base in India as of
September 2009 is given below
Operator Subscriber base
Bharti Airtel 2,928,254
Reliance Communications 1,152,237
Tata Teleservices 1,003,261
HFCL Infotel 165,978
Teleservices Ltd 95,181
All India 37,306,334
The list of eight states (including the metros Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai in their
respective states) with largest subscriber base as of September 2009 is given below
State Subscriber base
Tamil Nadu 3,620,729
Uttar Pradesh 2,803,049
West Bengal 2,490,253
Andhra Pradesh 2,477,755
The total subscriber base for internet users in India is 81 million as of 2009. Internet
penetration in India is one of the lowest in the world which is about 7.0% of the
population, compared to other nations like United States, Japan or South Korea where
internet penetration is significantly higher than in India.
The number of broadband connections in India have seen a continuous growth since the
beginning of 2006. At the end of January 2010, total broadband connections in the
country have reached 8.03 million.
Broadband in India is more expensive as compared to Western Europe/United Kingdom
and United States.
After economic liberalization in 1992, many private ISPs have entered the market, many
with their own local loop and gateway infrastructures. The telecom services market is
regulated by the TRAI and the DoT, which has been known to impose censorship on
See also: List of ISPs in India
See also: Internet censorship in India
 Low Speed Broadband (256 kbit/s - 2 mbit/s)
The current definition of Broadband in India is speeds of 256 kbit/s. TRAI on July 2009
has recommended raising this limit to 2 Mbit/s.
As of January 2010, India has 9.24 million broadband users comprising of 6.0% of the
population. India ranks one of the lowest provider of broadband speed as compared
countries such as Japan, South Korea and France.
Because of the increase in Broadband penetration and the quality of service steadily
improving, many non-resident Indians are now enjoying the ability to communicate with
family in India from around the world. However, many consumers complain that ISPs
still fail to provide the advertised speeds - some even failing to meet the 256 kbit/s
 High Speed Broadband (over 2 Mbit/s)
• Airtel has launched plans up to 16 Mbit/s on ADSL2+ enabled lines and is
piloting new 30 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s plans in limited areas.
• Beam Telecom offers plans up to 6 Mbit/s for home users and has 20 Mbit/s plans
available for power users.
• BSNL offers ADSL up to 8 Mbit/s in many cities.
• Hayai Broadband will offer FTTH services up to 100 Mbit/s, with an Internal
network speed of 1 Gbit/s.
• Honesty Net Solutions offers Broadband over Cable at up to 4 Mbit/s.
• MTNL offers VDSL at speeds up to 20 Mbit/s in selected areas, also provides
bandwidth at astonishing speed of 155 Mbit/s , thus making it the fastest ISP in
• Reliance Communications offers 10 Mbit/s and 20 Mbit/s broadband internet
services in selected areas. 
• Tata Indicom offers 10 Mbit/s, 20 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s options under the
"Lightning Plus" tariffs structure/
• Tikona Digital Networks Wireless Broadband service which is powered by
OFDM and MIMO 4th Generation(4G) technologies with 2 Mbit/s 
See also: List of ISPs in India
The main problem consumers face with High Speed Broadband in India is that they are
frequently expensive and/or they have limited amounts of data transfer included in the
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) & Hosts: 86,571 (2004) Source: CIA World
Country code (Top-level domain): IN
Main article: Media of India
AIR FM Tower at Kadri, Mangalore.
Radio broadcast stations: AM 153, FM 91, shortwave 68 (1998)
Radios: 116 million (1997)
Television terrestrial broadcast stations: 562 (of which 82 stations have 1 kW or
greater power and 480 stations have less than 1 kW of power) (1997)
Televisions: 110 million (2006)
In India, only the government owned Doordarshan (Door = Distant = Tele, Darshan =
Vision) is allowed to broadcast terrestrial television signals. It initially had one major
National channel (DD National) and a Metro channel in some of the larger cities (also
known as DD Metro).
Satellite/Cable television took off during the first Gulf War with CNN. There are no
regulations against ownership of satellite dish antennas, or operation of cable television
systems, which led to an explosion of viewership and channels, led by the Star TV group
and Zee TV. Initially restricted to music and entertainment channels, viewership grew,
giving rise to several channels in regional languages and many in the national language,
Hindi. The main news channels available were CNN and BBC World. In the late 1990s,
many current affairs and news channels sprouted, becoming immensely popular because
of the alternative viewpoint they offered compared to Doordarshan. Some of the notable
ones are Aaj Tak (means Till Today, run by the India Today group) and STAR News,
CNN-IBN, Times Now, initially run by the NDTV group and their lead anchor, Prannoy
Roy (NDTV now has its own channels, NDTV 24x7, NDTV Profit, NDTV India and
NDTV Imagine).New Delhi TeleVision.
Here is a reasonably comprehensive List of Indian television stations.
 Next generation networks
In the Next Generation Networks, multiple access networks can connect customers to a
core network based on IP technology. These access networks include fibre optics or
coaxial cable networks connected to fixed locations or customers connected through wi-fi
as well as to 3G networks connected to mobile users. As a result, in the future, it would
be impossible to identify whether the next generation network is a fixed or mobile
network and the wireless access broadband would be used both for fixed and mobile
services. It would then be futile to differentiate between fixed and mobile networks –
both fixed and mobile users will access services through a single core network.
Indian telecom networks are not so intensive as developed country’s telecom networks
and India's teledensity is low only in rural areas. 670,000 route kilometers (419,000
miles) of optical fibres has been laid in India by the major operators, even in remote areas
and the process continues. BSNL alone, has laid optical fibre to 30,000 Telephone
Exchanges out of their 36 Exchanges. Keeping in mind the viability of providing services
in rural areas, an attractive solution appears to be one which offers multiple service
facility at low costs. A rural network based on the extensive optical fibre network, using
Internet Protocol and offering a variety of services and the availability of open platforms
for service development, viz. the Next Generation Network, appears to be an attractive
proposition. Fibre network can be easily converted to Next Generation network and then
used for delivering multiple services at cheap cost.
 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
Number portability: TRAI announced the rules and regulations to be followed for the
Mobile Number Portability in their draft release on 23 September 2009. Mobile Number
Portability (MNP) allows users to retain their numbers, while shifting to a different
service provider provided they follow the guidelines set by TRAI. Users are expected to
holding the mobile number with a given provider for at least 90 days, before they decide
to move to the other provider.
As per news reports, Government of India decided to implement MNP from December
31, 2009 in Metros & category ‘A’ service areas and by March 20, 2010 in rest of the
It has been postponed to March 31, 2010 in Metros & category 'A' service areas.
• Nine satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian
• Nine gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai,
Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad and Ernakulam.
 Submarine cables
• LOCOM linking Chennai to Penang, Malaysia
• India-UAEcable linking Mumbai to Al Fujayrah, UAE.
• SEA-ME-WE 2 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 2)
• SEA-ME-WE 3 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3) - Landing sites
at Cochin and Mumbai. Capacity of 960 Gbit/s.
• SEA-ME-WE 4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4) - Landing sites
at Mumbai and Chennai. Capacity of 1.28 Tbit/s.
• Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG-FEA) with a landing site at Mumbai
(2000). Initial design capacity 10 Gbit/s, upgraded in 2002 to 80 Gbit/s, upgraded
to over 1 Tbit/s (2005).
• TIISCS (Tata Indicom India-Singapore Cable System), also known as TIC (Tata
Indicom Cable), Chennai to Singapore. Capacity of 5.12 Tbit/s.
• i2i - Chennai to Singapore. Capacity of 8.4 Tbit/s.
• SEACOM From Mumbai to the Mediterranean, via South Africa. It currently
joins with SEA-ME-WE 4 off the west coast of Spain to carry traffic onward to
London (2009). Capacity of 1.28 Tbit/s.
• I-ME-WE (India-Middle East-Western Europe) with two landing sites at Mumbai
(2009). Capacity of 3.84 Tbit/s.
• EIG (Europe-India Gateway), landing at Mumbai (due Q2 2010).
• MENA (Middle East North Africa).
• TGN-Eurasia (Announced) Landing at Mumbai (due 2010?), Capacity of 1.28
• TGN-Gulf (Announced) Landing at Mumbai (due 2011?), Capacity Unknown.
 Telecom Training in India
The incumbent telecom operators (BSNL & MTNL) have maintained several telecom
training centres at regional, circle and district level. BSNL has three national level
intitutions, namely Advanced Level Telecom Training Centre(ALTTC) at Ghaziabad,
UP; Bharat Ratna Bhim Rao Ambedkar Institute Of Telecom Training at Jabalpur, MP;
and National Academy of Telecom Finance and Management.
MTNL incorporated Centre for Excellence in Telecom Technology and Management
(CETTM) in 2003-04. It is the largest telecom training centre in India and one of the
biggest in Asia with a capex plan of over Rs. 100 crore . CETTM is situated at
Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai with built area of 4,86,921 sq ft. It provides
training in telecom switching, transmission, wireless communication, telecom operations
and management to corporates and students besides its own internal employees.
Other than the government opearators some private players like Bharti (Bharti School of
Telecom Management part of IIT Delhi), Aegis School of Business and
Telecommunication(Banglore and Mumbai) and Reliance have started their own training
NEW DELHI It’s not just Chinese vendors who have been impacted by the security
concerns related to import of telecom equipment. The world’s top western vendors —
Ericsson , Nokia Siemens and Alcatel Lucent —have said that the situation in India
contributed to lower sales in their June quarter results.
For the last six months, the government has heavily cracked down on imports of telecom
gear due to security concerns related to spyware and malware, especially from Chinese
vendors , impacting the rollout and expansion plans of all mobile service providers in
India. It is estimated that telecom gear worth close to $4 billion has not been cleared for
import by the Indian government since February 2010.
“Second quarter 2010 net sales decreased 5% to e3.0 billion, compared with e3.2 billion
in the second quarter 2009. The decrease was primarily due to the ongoing industry-wide
issue related to security clearances in India, which is preventing the completion of
product sales to customers, and shortages of certain components that are affecting the
broader industry,” Nokia Siemens said in a statement, when unveiling its financial
performance for the Quarter-ended June 2010.
Ditto with Ericsson, the world’s largest telecom gearmaker. The company’s sales in India
for the three monthsended June 10 were SEK 1.4 billion down 63% from the
corresponding period last year. Even on a quarter-onquarter basis, Ericsson’s revenues
for the period ended June 10 were 41% lower when compared to the quarterended March
10, the company said.
“India sales decreased 63% yearover-year and 41% sequentially due to cautious operator
investments in the lead up to the 3G auctions as well as the ongoing government initiated
security clearance process,” Ericsson said in its quarterly results report.
India’s latest telecom regulations has stirred a hornet’s nest in the United States, Europe
and Japan. As first reported by ET last week, over 10 leading trade bodies in the US have
all approached their government officials stating that India’s new telecom security
requirements ‘raise potential WTO compliance concerns, which left unchallenged could
throw billions of dollars in sales and export opportunities of US companies at risk’ .
The US business community is up in arms over India’s demand that all global telecom
gear makers will have to place their source codes and other sensitive design elements in
an escrow account.
AP Andhra Pradesh Telecom Circle.
AS Assam Telecom Circle.
BR Bihar & Jharkhand Telecom Circle.
CH Chennai Metro Telecom Circle (includes MEPZ, Mahabalipuram & Minjur)
Delhi Metro Telecom Circle (includes NCR, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon &
GJ Gujarat Telecom Circle (includes Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli)
HP Himachal Pradesh Telecom Circle.
HR Haryana Telecom Circle (excludes Faridabad, Gurgaon & Panchkula)
JK Jammu & Kashmir Telecom Circle.
KL Kerala Telecom Circle (includes Lakshadweep)
KA Karnataka Telecom Circle.
Kolkata Metro Telecom Circle (includes parts of Haora, Hooghly, North & South 24
Parganas and Nadia Districts)
Maharashtra Telecom Circle (includes Goa but excludes Mumbai, Navi Mumbai
MP Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh Telecom Circle.
MU Mumbai Metro Telecom Circle (includes Navi Mumbai & Kalyan)
NE North East India Telecom Circle (excludes Assam)
OR Orissa Telecom Circle.
PB Punjab Telecom Circle (includes Chandigarh & Panchkula)
RJ Rajasthan Telecom Circle.
Tamil Nadu Telecom Circle (includes Pondichery except Yanam, usually excludes
Chennai, MEPZ, Mahabalipuram & Minjur)
TC Tamil Nadu + Chennai
UE Uttar Pradesh (East) Telecom Circle.
Uttar Pradesh (West) & Uttarakhand Telecom Circle (excludes Ghaziabad &
West Bengal Telecom Circle (includes Andaman & Nicobar, Sikkim, excludes
Calcutta Telecom District)
ZZ Customer Care (All Over India)
Telecom Circles of India Currently there are 22 telecom circles in India, including
'metro', 'A', 'B', and 'C'category service areas. Officially, telecom circles are now called
telecom 'service areas', but both terms used to mean the same thing.These are the
officially recognized circles as stated by the India Department of Telecommunications.
India telephone companies may or may not conform to this exact usage.
Network Operators and Corporation
AC AIRCEL Aircel Ltd.
AT AIRTEL Bharti Airtel Ltd.
CC CELLONE CDMA Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
CG CELLONE GSM Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
DC DATACOM Now renamed as Videocon Telecom
DP DOLPHIN Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.
ET ETISALAT Etisalat DB ltd
ID IDEA Idea Cellular Ltd.
LM LOOP MOBILE Loop Telecom Ltd.
MT MTS CDMA Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd.
PG PING CDMA HFCL Infotel Ltd.
RC RELIANCE CDMA Reliance Communication Ltd.
RG RELIANCE GSM Reliance Communication Ltd.
ST S TEL S Tel Pvt. Ltd.
TD TATA DOCOMO TATA Teleservices Ltd.
TI TATA INDICOM TATA Teleservices Ltd.
UN UNINOR Telenor Unitech Ltd.
VC VIRGIN MOBILE CDMA TATA Teleservices Ltd. (Franchisee model)
VG VIRGIN MOBILE GSM TATA Teleservices Ltd. (Franchisee model)
VF VODAFONE Vodafone Essar Ltd.
Bharti Celebrates Its 23 Circle All India Footprint By Reducing Roaming Rates To
Becomes the first to deliver the Hon’ble Union Communication Minister’s vision of
‘One India’ & lower roaming tariffs.
· Bharti becomes first to offer benefits of an All India footprint
· Bharti makes roaming accessible & affordable for all – delivering the vision of the
· All Airtel customers to enjoy the benefits of roaming – the true power of GSM.
· Airtel further underlines it’s commitment to create affordability for the masses
and build a roaming ‘community’.
New Delhi, April 26, 2005: Airtel, India’s leading mobile service, today gave the
benefits of its 23 Circle All-India footprint by announcing a significant reduction in
roaming rates to Rs 1.99. The reduction in roaming tariffs is Bharti’s contribution
towards the vision of ‘One India & lower roaming tariffs, envisaged by Mr. Dayanidhi
Maran, Hon’ble Minster of Communication & IT.
With the reduction in roaming tariffs, Bharti becomes the first mobile service provider to
offer the benefit of an All-India footprint for its customers. Both pre-paid & post-paid
customers will now be able to access roaming services across the country at extremely
affordable rates. The reduction in roaming tariffs underlines Airtel’s commitment
towards creating affordable mobile services for the masses and building a roaming
The roaming rates have been reduced to Rs. 1.99 for all Airtel mobile customers, across
the country. The new roaming tariffs come into effect from 1st May. Now all Airtel
customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of roaming – the true power of GSM – at
highly affordable roaming charges.
Announcing the new roaming tariffs, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Group
Managing Director, Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd, said, “ As a leading player of the
cellular mobile industry, Airtel has always innovated and made telecom services
available to the masses of India. This reduction in the roaming rate will expand the
roaming community in India and help realise the vision of 200 million mobile
subscribers by 2007.”
Bharti, became the first private service provider in the country to have an All-India
footprint when it launched its services in Assam – the 23rd circle on April 13th 2005, with
a call to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Hon’ble
Minster of Communication & IT, Mr. Dayanidhi Maran. With the launch of services in
Assam, its 23rd circle, Bharti completed its transformation from a single-circle service
provider to India’s first telecom company to offer an All-India footprint.
Bharti Tele-Ventures is one of India’s leading private sector provider of Tele-
communications services with an aggregate of 11.8 million customers as of end of March
‘05, consisting of approximately 10.98 million mobile customers. The company today
offers mobile services in 23 out of 23 circles in India. The company also provides fixed -
line services and Internet access over DSL in 6 circles. The company complements its
mobile and fixed-line services with national and international long distance services. The
company also has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the
submarine cable connecting Chennai and Singapore. The company provides reliable end-
to-end data and enterprise services to the corporate customers by leveraging its
nationwide fiber optic backbone, last mile connectivity in fixed-line and mobile circles,
VSATs, ISP and international bandwidth access through the gateways and landing
station. For more information, visit www.bhartiteleventures.com
The country was divided into 23 circles when the mobile phones were introduced
in the country. Separate licenses were given out for each of the circles in 1994.
The circles were classified as Metros, A, B or C depending upon the revenue
potential for the circle with Metros & A circles expected to have the highest
potential. The following table lists the current telecom circles and the mobile
subscriber base in each of them:
Subscriber Base as on
All Figures in Million Population (30th April, 2010) Penetration
Bombay 17.95 26.87 149.7%
Delhi 18.20 28.83 158.4%
Chennai 6.99 11.47 164.1%
Kolkata 14.43 16.63 115.2%
Gujarat 56.04 33.12 59.1%
Andhra Pradesh 83.65 46.40 55.5%
Karnataka 58.01 37.82 65.2%
Tamil Nadu 62.58 43.33 69.2%
Maharashtra & Goa 89.87 44.00 49.0%
Punjab 27.73 20.48 73.9%
Rajasthan 62.03 34.09 55.0%
MP & Chattisgarh 89.11 32.29 36.2%
Kerala + Lakshadweep 35.02 24.07 68.7%
Haryana 21.81 14.20 65.1%
Uttar Pradesh – West (UPW) 69.17 31.36 45.3%
Uttar Pradesh – East (UPE) 120.98 45.37 37.5%
WB& AN, Sikkim 74.56 25.80 34.6%
Bihar & Jharkhand 120.68 38.09 31.6%
Orissa 40.40 15.62 38.7%
Assam 29.26 8.92 30.5%
North East 12.80 5.35 41.8%
Jammu & Kashmir 11.13 5.12 46.0%
Himachal Pradesh 6.67 5.08 76.1%
Total for India 1,129.09 594.31 52.6%
The figures below are a snapshot of key operator indicators by for GSM (Click on the image to view
The figures below are a snapshot of key operator indicators by for CDMA (Click on
the image to view it clearly)
There are many innovations that have
helped reduced the cost of ownership of mobile phones. The figure alongside
(source: TRAI) is a snapshot of how the subscriber base increased as the tariffs
reduced due to innovations and government interventions. India is the now the
second largest market in terms of mobile subscriber base after China but still it is
at 48% teledensity and adding 15-17 million new subscribers every month.
Indian market is not only the most
attractive but also the most competitive with over seven operators in each circle
and another five new operators likely to start operations in the near future.
Nowhere in the world does any country have so many carriers. The dominant
players are Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone, BSNL (state owned), Idea and Tata.
Reliance and Tata offer CDMA technology while all the other players are in the
GSM space. GSM has a 75% share of sbscribers and now even Reliance and
Tata have either launched or in the process of launching nation-wide GSM
services. Apart from the current players, there are several new players like Aircel,
Unitech-Telenor, Shyam-Siestema, Etisalat that have got the license and
spectrum to launch mobile services in several telecom circles. Shyam-Siestema
is the only player to launch CDMA services while all the new operators are in the
lucrative GSM space. The adjoining figure gives the market shares of the
operators in India. It is a fragmented market with the biggest operator (Airtel)
garnering only 23% share.
ARPU (Average Revenue per User)
India is a predominantly prepaid market (93% of all subscribers are on prepaid)
with low ARPU and high minutes of usage(MoU).The GSM ARPU is Rs 144 (~
USD 3.2) per month with a usage of 411 minutes per month in the quarter ending
Dec, 2009. Similarly, CDMA ARPU stood at Rs 82 (~USD 1.8) with a usage of
318 minutes per month. There is a wide disparity in the rural and urban
teledensity with rural teledensity at 20% vs. urban teledensity of around 103%.
The chart below gives the progressive wireless penetration in rural and urban
Regulatory has played a big role in development of Indian telecom market by
brining in the competition at the right time and by removing bottlenecks.
However, there are a few pending issues that still need to be resolved like the 3G
spectrum auction and allocation, Mobile Number Portability and 2G spectrum
Given the low tele density in the country, the subscriber base is expected to grow
at a brisk pace. Government expects the mobile base to cross 600 million by
2010 and most of the new additions are expected to come from rural areas
where the mobile penetration is still low.
Cellular Industry In India - Presentation Transcript
1. Cellular Industry in India
2. Cellular Service Market
Cellular services launched in India during 1999
Cellular services split into two, namely
23 circles in India ,grouped under Metro, A, B and C.
Metro circle makes up to 20.7% of the total cellular usage in India.
4. Highest minutes of usage
India has the lowest call tariffs in the world, and thus, the highest minutes of
usage as well.
5. GSM v/s CDMA
GSM900 and 1800 spectrum
GSM subscriber base crosses the 200mn mark in ‘07-’08
Better roaming accessibility
CDMA uses 1800 MHz frequency band
Better call quality and surfing speed
Call costs cheaper
6. GSM and CDMA subscribers comparison
7. Market Players
Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd. (BTVL) aka BhartiAirtel
Co provides telephone and internet access over DSL in 14 circles.
Submarine cable landing station at Chennai
Airtel services include mobile services (GSM), broadband and telephone services,
long-distance services and enterprise services.
Vodafone and SingTel holding Airtel stakes
Signed MoU with Nokia-Siemens for $9mn expansion of mobile and fixed
Vodafone Essar acquired 67%stake of Hutch for US$11.1bn
Voice Data Fone, providing voice and data services over mobile phones
Operates in 25 countries across 5 continents and 40 partner networks with over
200 mn customers worldwide
Rapid increase in revenue by 50% with an avg. of 1.5mn net additions per month
Among the fastest growing cellular service cos. of India
Earned profits of about £6756mn as on March ‘09
10. Idea Cellular
First cellular co to launch background tones, group talk and a complete suite of
mobile email services
Initially started as a merger of Tata Cellular and Birla AT&T Communications in
The co had a split with the Tata taking an exit from the co for Rs.44.06bn
Launched 3 more circles, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and UP (East)
Acquisition of Escotel in 2004 covered Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, AP, MP,
Chattisgarh, UP (West), Haryana, Kerala and Delhi.
Reliance Infocomm, Reliance Telecom and Flag Telecom a part of Reliance
Communications Ventures (RCoVL)
Reliance Infocomm uses CDMA2000 technology
Reliance telecom-GSM services in 340 towns within 8 circles
CDMA services cover 19 states, almost 65% of India
Provides both wireless and wireline services as well as convergent digital network
12. Tata Indicom
Incorporated in 1995 and is the first one to provide CDMA mobile services
In 2002, acquired Hughes Telecom (I) Ltd and launched Talk World plan in 2007
With total investment of Rs. 19924 Cr. Operates in 20 circles in India
Partnership with Motorola, Ericsson, Lucent and ECI Telecom for reliable and
Leader in fixed wireless telephony with 3.8mn customer base
Includes wireless desktop phones, public phone booths, voice and data services
First one to provide 3G services
India’s oldest and largest CSP and also largest PSU, market value $100bn
Provides services like wireline, CDMA mobile, GSM mobile, internet, broadband,
carrier service, etc.
World’s 7th largest Telecommunications Co
14. Market Share and Growth
Major growth drivers – intl. and domestic long distance telephony services
According to Unified Licensing Policy 15% of operator revenue goes to the govt.
India’s cellular market has grown rapidly since last few years and is poised to be
the 2nd largest network globally by 2012
Almost 80% of the cellular subscriber base from pre-paid segment
Avg. growth rate is about 85% p.a.
15. MOST (Mobile Operators Shared Tower) started infra-sharing in India with the
concept of multi-technology (GSM & CDMA) and multi operators (upto 6
operators) sharing a single tower.
Several Indian firms gaining a foothold in the global market.
16. Market Share of companies – July 2009
17. Marketing Strategies
Revenues used to reduce airtime tariffs, long distance calling prices and handset
This reduction in airtime tariffs increases the demand for cellular services.
Cos focusing on rural areas for more connections.
Increasing VAS provided by different cellular cos
Other promotional strategies include – celebrity endorsements, loyalty rewards,
creative ads, business solutions, talktime schemes, etc.
Target market of cellular cos being the youth as it is the fastest growing segment
18. Value Added Services
As per COAI, income from VAS was 10% of total income of service providers in
Caller line idntification 6%
Other VAS 19%
Ring tones 7%
Content download 6%
VAS supplied by mobile network operators or VASP/CP
Many national and intl investors ready to invest in this segment of telecom
19. 3G Spectrum – The Latest Buzz
20. 3G technology
Supports diverse multimedia applications
Enables triple play and broadband services
Requires huge bandwidth (15-20 MHz)
Providing high-speed internet, fast downloading and video calling.
More than 60 3G networks present across 25 countries.
Transfers both voice data and non-voice data
BSNL and MTNL spectrums allotted immediately and private cos to get spectrum
allocations by 2009
21. Main highlight – video calling
Finance Ministry decided of reserve price to be Rs. 4040cr. In ‘08 but it has been
recently brought down by DoT to Rs. 3500cr.
Metro & Circle A Rs. 160cr.
Circle B Rs. 80cr.
Circle C Rs. 30cr.
Govt. to earn about Rs. 30k-40k cr. for 4 spectrum blocks
22. Future Trends
Location based services
Mobile music will increase with better bandwidth
Migrattion to 3G will increase ARPU
Mobile commerce might be developed further
Mobile email will be driven by enterprises
Stocks on mobile will see an uptake
TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of
telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable
India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.
Objective of TRAI - to provide a fair and transparent policy environment. In
pursuance of above objective TRAI has issued from time to time a large number
of regulations, orders and directives to deal with issues coming before it and
provided the required direction to the evolution of Indian telecom market from a
Government owned monopoly to a multi-operator multi-service open competitive
market. The directions, orders and regulations issued cover a wide range of
subjects including tariff, interconnection and quality of service as well as
governance of the Authority.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) was constituted in 1995 as a
registered, non-profit, non-governmental society dedicated to the advancement of
communication, particularly modern communication through Cellular Mobile
Telephone Services. With a vision to establish and sustain a world-class cellular
infrastructure and facilitate affordable mobile communication services in India,
COAI's main objectives are to protect the common & collective interests of