The telecom network in India is the fifth largest network in the world meeting upwith global standards. Presently, the Indian telecom industry is currently slated to anestimated contribution of nearly 1% to India’s GDP.
The Indian Telecommunications network with 110.01 million connections is the fifthlargest in the world and the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia.Today, it is the fastest growing market in the world and represents uniqueopportunities for U.S. companies in the stagnant global scenario. The total subscriberbase, which has grown by 40% in 2005, is expected to reach 250 million in 2007.According to Broadband Policy 2004, Government of India aims at 9 millionbroadband connections and 18 million internet connections by 2007. The wirelesssubscriber base has jumped from 33.69 million in 2004 to 62.57 million in FY2004-2005. In the last 3 years, two out of every three new telephone subscribers werewireless subscribers. Consequently, wireless now accounts for 54.6% of the totaltelephone subscriber base, as compared to only 40% in 2003. Wireless subscribergrowth is expected to bypass 2.5 million new subscribers per month by 2007. Thewireless technologies currently in use are Global System for Mobile Communications(GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). There are primarily 9 GSM and 5CDMA operators providing mobile services in 19 telecom circles and 4 metro cities,covering 2000 towns across the country.
Evolution of the industry-Important Milestones
History of Indian Telecommunications
1851 First operational land lines were laid by the government near Calcutta (seatof British power)1881 Telephone service introduced in India1883 Merger with the postal system1923 Formation of Indian Radio Telegraph Company (IRT)1932 Merger of ETC and IRT into the Indian Radio and Cable CommunicationCompany (IRCC)1947 Nationalization of all foreign telecommunication companies to form thePosts, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT), a monopoly run by thegovernment's Ministry of Communications1985 Department of Telecommunications (DOT) established, an exclusiveprovider of domestic and long-distance service that would be its ownregulator (separate from the postal system)1986 Conversion of DOT into two wholly government-owned companies: theVidesh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) for international telecommunications