INDIAN TELECOM INDUSTRY
The fast track growth of the Indian telecom industry has made it a key contributor to India¶s progress. India adopted a phased approach for reforming the telecom sector right from the beginning. Privatization was gradually introduced, first in value-added services, followed bycellular and basic services. An independent regulatory body, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), was established to deal with competition in a balanced manner. This gradual andthoughtful reform process in India has favored industry growth.It is also the second largesttelecommunication network in the world in terms of number of wireless connections after China.
2.2. History of Indian Telecommunication:
istory of Indian Telecommunications has its roots in the dawn of the independence era. Indiagained independence in 1947, when India had around 84,000 telephone lines for its population of 350 million. After thirty-three years later, by 1980, India`s telephone service increased with only2.5 million telephones and 12,000 public phones for a population of 700 million. Only 3 percentof India`s 600,000 villages enjoyed telephone service.
owever, in the late 1990s, a vast changewas seen in the telecommunications scenario. By 1999, India had an installed network of morethan 25 million telephone lines that spread across 300 cities, 4869 towns, and 310,897 villages,making India`s telecommunications network the ninth largest in the world. Especially notable isthe fact that more than 80 percent of this national telecommunications infrastructure, counting upto approximately 20 million telephone lines, was added in the 1990s alone.
By 2000, around650,000 public call offices provided reliable telephone service, where people could simply walk in, make a call, and pay the metered charges, had mushroomed all over India, including theremote, rural, hilly, and tribal areas as well.A stunning 117 billion metered calls were made in India from these PCOs in 1998. Revenues of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the state-run telecommunications operator,increased from $790 million in 1988 to $4.3 billion in 1998, simply a five-fold increase in 10years. Over the next several years, India planned to add four to five million digital telephone linesto increase its telephone density from 2.5 per 100 people in 1999, to 7 per 100 people by 2005,and to 15 by 2010. So, by 2005, the number of telephones in India will rise to 75 million; projections for 2010 are pegged at 150 million. Massive investments running into billions of dollars (installing each telephone line costs about $750) were needed for this expansion, so private