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Essar 6) Ericsson 7) Nokia 8) Siemens Communications 9) Idea Cellular Limited 10) Tata Teleservices Established in 2002, Reliance communication is the wholly owned subsidiary of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group of Companies providing the telecommunication services. Reliance offers prepaid and postpaid mobile services with R-world and fixed line services with broadband services. During the financial year 2005-06, Reliance's subscriber base had crossed the mark of 25 millions. Having its operations in 673 cities, Reliance Communications offers a wide range of telephony services. The company's business line varies from providing Fixed Line Telephonyservices to wireless mobile telephony services. Website: www.reliancecommunications.co.in
Established in 1995 by Sunil Mittal as a Public Limited Company, Airtel is the largest telecom service provider in Indian telecom sector. With market capitalization of over Rs. 1,360 billion, Airtel has 31% of total market share of GSM service providers. Providing GSM services in all the 23 circles, Airtel was the first private player in telecom sector to connect all states of India. Also, Airtel is the first mobile service provider to introduce the lifetime prepaid services and electronic recharge systems. After establishing itself in the domestic market, Airtel is now spreading its wings in US by providing its mobile service under the name 'CALLHOME' to the NRIs. Having achieved huge success in mobile services- postpaid and prepaid- Airtel has now entered fixed-line telephony providing broadband services in 92 cities across India. The company has an optical fiber network of 35,016 km and a customer base of 35,440,406 GSM mobile and 1,819,083 broadband subscribers. Airtel is listed on The Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE) and The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE).
Founded in 2000, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. is India's largest public sector
Telecommunications Company providing a wide variety of telecom services. Its service range covers Wireline, CDMA mobile, GSM Mobile, Internet, Broadband, Carrier service, MPLSVPN, VSAT, VoIP services, IN Services, etc. In 2005-06, the BSNL earned revenues of Rs. 40,177 crore, representing a growth rate of 11.32 % over the previous year. BSNL's Board of Directors consists of CMD Shri A.K. Sinha & five full time Directors- Director of Human Resource Development (HRD), Director of Planning & New Services, Director Operations, Director Finance and Director of Commercial & Marketing. BSNL offers both fixed line and mobile services with broadband connections.
Established in 1986 by the Government of India, MTNL is the largest player in the Telecom sector. MTNL has successfully converted its telephone exchange network to the digital mode systems. Having a customer base of more than 6 million, MTNL has showed a growth of over 30% during financial year 2005-06. At present Government of India has 52.25% stake in the company whose paid up capital amounts to Rs 6300 million. After achieving the highest position in the fixed line telephone services, MTNL has also come up with the mobile services under the name of Trump and Garuda. MTNL customer base also enjoys the 1 Rs. call scheme for Delhi-Mumbai long distance calls. Website: www.mtnl.net.in Established in 1994 in Indian market, Hutchison Essar, an Essar group and Hutchison Whampoa undertaking, is one of the leading cellular service providers. Having its services in five continents, Hutch was among the companies that started cellular services in India. Hutch has now spread its wings all over the country, with its punch line "wherever you go, our network follows". Hutch provides both postpaid and prepaid cellular services with lots of value added services to its customer base. With a total market share of 22%, Hutch's customer base amounts to 2.44 crore subscribers. Essar Group has a turnover of over US$ 2.2 billion and the enterprise value of US$ 15 billion. The company has a wide range of manufacturing and service business sectors like Telecom & BPO, Engineering & Constructions, Steel, Oil & Gas, Power, and Shipping & Logistics. Since 1983, Hutchison Whampoa Limited is into mobile business in Hong Kong and now has more than 40 million customers. Vodafone is acquiring Hutchison Telecomm International Limited, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa Limited, with 33% stake in the company, changing Hutchison Essar to Vodafone Essar. Website: www.hutch.in Having established itself in the international market, Ericsson is now penetrating Indian telecom market with its telecom equipments. Ericsson has a wide network of more than 140 countries and
more than 30% market share. Ericsson's parent company Teleonsktiebolaget L M Ericsson was established in 1876. Ericsson has come a long way offering operators and service providers end-to-end solutions in mobile and broadband Internet. Ericsson serves telecom sector by providing fixed line and cellular equipments. It has its service centers all over the country. The company is also a member of Open Source Community, providing open source software products. With working capital of Rs. 86,980 million, Ericsson has dominated the USA markets. Website: www.ericsson.com Nokia is one of the leaders in the Indian market providing telecom equipments. Its product range starts from a handset of Rs. 2000-3000 and goes to N series, which amounts to more than Rs. 25000-30000. With its production units located all over world, Nokia provides solutions for mobile phones, multimedia and networks. Production units for network technology are located in China, Finland and India; mobile devices and enhancements are located in Brazil, China, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Mexico, South Korea; customization and logistics centre is located in United States. During financial year 2005-06, Nokia's sales crossed the mark of 2,713 m euro in India, taking its total sales to 41,121 m euro, with the operating profit of Euro 5,488 million. Having a market share of 36%, the company has 14 manufacturing units and R&D departments around the world.
Founded 160 years ago, Siemens is one of world's largest companies providing electrical engineering products and services. Siemens covers a wide range of services in the electronic arena, such as energy, construction, transportation, lighting, information and communication. With its headquarters in Berlin and Munich, Siemens has 15 manufacturing plants and 16 sales offices in 190 countries, spreading its wings all over the world. Siemens is among the earliest companies to have introduced the mobile handsets in India. During the financial year 2006, Siemens's net income reached to Euro 3.033 billion with sales of Euro 87.325 billion. There will be a merger taking place between Siemens Networks and Nokia Networks Business Groups. The operations of Nokia Siemens Networks will start commencing from April 1st, 2007. With operations in 100 countries, Siemens Networks is a flagship company of Siemens AG.
Established by AT&T, Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group as joint venture, Idea Cellular, is a part of Aditya Birla Nuvo, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, Idea is growing its network in 11 circles. Idea offers both prepaid and post paid services in the GSM network. Having 13% market share, Idea has a base of 2.3 crores subscribers all over the country. A threeyear contract was signed between Idea cellular and Ericsson for GSM expansion. The network will now cover Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh telecom circles (operator-licensed areas). Idea is also in the process of setting up new networks
to provide wider coverage area to its subscribers. It also keeps on announcing attractive discount schemes for the value added services. Idea was the first cellular service provider to launch GPRS and EDGE in the country. For the very first time in India, 'Background Tones', 'Group Talk', 'Super Power', 'Women's Card', etc. were launched by Idea. Idea has remained popular among the customers because of tariff plans such as free I -I calls, '2 Minutes Outgoing Free', and other discount schemes and GPRS enabled services. Website: www.ideacellular.com Established in 1996, Tata Teleservices, one of the 96 companies of Tata Group, has its network in 20 circles. It is the first company to launch CDMA mobile services in India. With investment of Rs.36, 000 crores during financial year 2005-06, Tata Teleservices has reached the mark of 1.07 crore subscribers. The company covers a wide range of services like Mobile services, Wireless Desktop Phones, Public Booth Telephony and Wireline services. It also offers some value added services like voice portal, roaming, post-paid Internet Services, 3-way conferencing, group calling, Wi-Fi Internet, USB Modem, data cards, calling card services and enterprise services. Tata Teleservices has partnered with Motorola and Ericsson for providing reliable services to its customer base. Tata Teleservices Limited along with Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited serves over 15.9 million customers (with 75% increase in FY 2007 over March 06-sub base ) covering over 3200 towns. Income from Telecommunication reached to 1,095.13, with 7.9 lakhs mobile subscribers and 8.3 lakhs fixed wireless subscriber. Formerly named as Hughes Tele.com (India) Ltd., Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML) with 70.83% equity shareholding by TATA Group, is the premier telecommunication service provider licensed to provide services in Maharashtra (including Mumbai) and Goa. In February 2002, the Government of India released 25% of VSNL's equity to Tata Teleservices. Website: www.tatateleservices.com
History of Indian Telecommunications Year 1851 First operational land lines were laid by the government near Calcutta (seat of British power) 1881 Telephone service introduced in India 1883 Merger with the postal system 1923 Formation of Indian Radio Telegraph Company (IRT) 1932 Merger of ETC and IRT into the Indian Radio and Cable Communication Company (IRCC) 1947 Nationalization of all foreign telecommunication companies to form the Posts, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT), a monopoly run by the government's Ministry of Communications 1985 Department of Telecommunications (DOT) established, an exclusive
provider of domestic and long-distance service that would be its own regulator (separate from the postal system) 1986 Conversion of DOT into two wholly government-owned companies: the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) for international telecommunications
and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for service in metropolitan areas. 1997 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India created. 1999 Cellular Services are launched in India. New National Telecom Policy is adopted. 2000 DoT becomes a corporation, BSNL
There are three types of players in telecom services: • -State owned companies (BSNL and MTNL) • -Private Indian owned companies (Reliance Infocomm, Tata Teleservices,) • -Foreign invested companies (Hutchison-Essar, Bharti Tele-Ventures, Escotel, Idea Cellular, BPL Mobile, Spice Communications)
Under fire for fathering a Rs 60,000-crore scam, communications & IT minister A Raja hit back on Friday with all the ammunitions in his store. At a hastily convened press conference, Raja said that spectrum and licences were allocated to new players according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommendations and that he was willing to resign if proved otherwise. He said all his decisions conformed to the national telecom policy, 1999, Cabinet and Parliament approval. In his offensive best, Raja blamed the “undeclared cartel”—an apparent reference to the existing telecom operators who were there before he took the ministry reins last year—for the controversy. The minister said he was being opposed because he sought to “transcend the telecom revolution to a new era” by promoting more competition so that tariffs come down further and tele-density spreads.
The controversy surrounding Raja is that he accorded licences and spectrum at cheap rates to a host of new applicants, of which two new licence-holders, Unitech and Swan, made a fortune by selling a part of their stakes. The two companies, which received spectrum for a measly amount of up to Rs 1,651 crore, recently sold some of their stakes at a valuation of around $2 billion without having any skeletal structure in place, subscribers or knowledge of the telecom business. In fact, Sanjay Chandra, head of Unitech Wireless, had even said that the company had no plans of investing any money in towers, which constitute the nuts and bolts of the telecom business. Raja’s critics maintain that the pan-India licence charge of Rs 1,651 crore was a price discovered way back in 2001, and that 2G spectrum should ideally have been auctioned to realize the current market-determined price. Raja said that the 2G spectrum was not auctioned because Trai did not favour it and that there was nothing wrong in diluting equity by issuing fresh shares as opposed to sale of promoter’s equity. He said finance minister P Chidambaram had given him a clean chit on this count. In fact, the Telecom Commission, upon Raja’s insistence, would deliberate on a proposal on Tuesday to prohibit promoters from selling their equity for three or five years from the date of issue of a licence. Raja emphasised that promoting competition and ensuring availability of spectrum was his basic mandate, and that the government was not going to sell spectrum cheap to the telecom players and so his department was going to levy a higher spectrum usage charge. By raising the spectrum usage charge by up to 2% the government would get an additional revenue of Rs 5,000 crore a year. On the offensive •Faces charges of under-selling spectrum & licences • Says these were issued according to Trai wishes •Decisions conformed to NTP, Cabinet & House approvals •Says he is willing to quit the position if proved otherwise •Hints that existing players were behind the controversy
PHONEY ISSUES: BJP alleges the Telecom Minister is involved in a scam of Rs 60,000 crore.
The license allocation under Andimuthu Raja had come under criticism for alleged irregularities. An FIR filed by the CBI claims that the allocation was not done as per market prices, resulting in a scam worth Rs 20,000 crores.  . However it had been alleged by Arun Jaitley of Bhartiya Janata Party that the scam is worth around Rs 60,000 crores. [
Recent press reports on the meetings of the Group of Ministers on radio spectrum for mobile
services would suggest the authorities view 2G spectrum as more important than the 3G one. So, it is likely that additional 2G spectrum will be made available for commercial use soon, but giving a greater priority to 2G spectrum over 3G spectrum is illogical. First, the introduction of 3G services can only help in improving the use of ICT for commerce and will therefore help the economy grow faster. The argument that 2G is more important than 3G since only the richer strata in urban areas will use 3G services is irrelevant since spectrum is not even an issue in rural areas, whether it is 2G or 3G. Only an ill-informed policy maker will disregard the fact that 3G networks are up to 2.5 times more efficient than 2G networks for voice communication, apart from the fact that they provide a high data rate access to data-based services. It is often also forgotten that once high-end users move to 3G services, this will substantially reduce the load on 2G networks. This released 2G capacity will then be available for adding new customers to existing 2G mobile networks and will, at the same time, provide relief on the Quality of Service front. These are not the ramblings of an arm chair thinker, but are supported by well-researched and widely-quoted reports such as the reent CII report on Wireless India [ Images ] -- Catalysing Next Wave of Economic Growth. Second, the government has to take a holistic view in line with its own vision and objectives. It has been repeatedly, and rightly, said that the growth of broadband is important for economic growth and the well-being of the country. Presumably policy makers know that 3G services are a major means of providing broadband services. If not, they only need to look at the most recent Trai draft recommendations on broadband services released in September 2007. In fact, the same aspect was brought out by TRAI in its earlier recommendations on 3G and BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) services released in March 2007. Third, the band being considered at the moment for 3G spectrum is the 2.1 GHz one. Again, going by press reports, as also the earlier recommendations of the Trai, it appears the armed forces will find it a lot easier to release this band as compared to the 1800 MHz band (the socalled 2G band). Some reports even suggest that parts of this band are available even today (recall the statements of the earlier communications minister). This implies that there is no linkage between the release of 3G spectrum and the 2G spectrum. Why, and on whose behest then, is a linkage being created between the two types of spectrum? Does this have anything to do with the valuation of 2G licenses, whether they are of existing or of new players? Let us examine this conjecture. The Trai has recommended tightening of the subscriber norms for spectrum allocation. That the approach to fix subscriber norms is incorrect is another issue and let us examine the implications of this recommendation if the government accepts, rejects or modifies it. If the government rejects the recommendation in toto or accepts it with some modification, it is clear that the existing operators will hope to get some more spectrum. In my view, this will help improve the QOS as well as provide scope for further growth of mobile connections. It is possible that this will enhance the value of the licenses of existing players. If this is true, are such operators behind this approach of prioritising 2G spectrum over 3G? The other possibility is that the government accepts the TRAI revision of subscriber allocation norms for spectrum. In such a situation, it appears that almost none of the existing operators will
get any part of the newly-released spectrum and all of it will go to new operators along with the license. If 20 MHz becomes available, it would appear that at least 4 new operators can be given licenses. The government's approach of not capping the number of operators is indeed the right one. However, converting it to a priority objective in a market where 6 or 7 players already exist and where the HHI is 0.2 or less (this indicates there is healthy competition in the marketplace) is difficult to understand. Surely, we do not, under these circumstances, need top government officials and ministers spending their precious time to bring in new operators deliberately in an already competitive market. What then is the objective for holding back 3G services and taking decisions on only 2G spectrum? Could it be the anomaly created by differences in the manner of allocation in the two cases. For 2G spectrum, a subscriber norm is used which allows operators to get spectrum virtually free; an auction approach is recommended for 3G spectrum which implies paying for it. While priority of 2G spectrum over 3G due to these differences may be logical for operators, is it logical for the policy makers?
The department of telecom has decided to offer second generation (2G) radio frequencies to new 3G spectrum winners on a first-come-first-served basis, in the auctions next month. The announcement was made at a 3G Investors’ Conference on Tuesday (23rd December). The conference was held to answer questions from prospective investors and bidders for 3G spectrum and WiMax. In August, telecom minister A Raja had announced that, universal access service licenses (UASL) for 3G winners will not be accompanied by 2G spectrum. Potential investors had objected as it meant new bidders would pay Rs 1,651 crore for a license but not be given the 4.4 MHz of startup spectrum that has accompanied licenses granted so far including to the 120 companies, who signed LoIs in January 2008. Currently, all services in India are offered on the 2G radio frequencies. The 3G spectrum will allow telecom companies to offer high-end services such as fast downloads of music files and video clips, interactive gaming and video calls and TV on the mobile.
29 September 2009 – India is planning to allocate 2G airwaves to successful bidders in its forthcoming 3G spectrum auctions in a move seemingly designed to encourage bids from foreign operators. According to India's Economic Times, the concession will be included in an Information Memorandum (IM) to be published by India's telecoms ministry in the next few days. However, the document - which contains details of the long-awaited 3G auctions scheduled for 7 December - adds that the allocation of second-generation airwaves will be "subject to availability." According to the newspaper, international operators that do not currently have a
presence in India have insisted they will not enter the 3G race unless they are allowed to offer fully-fledged mobile services, which would also require 2G spectrum. Some were still not convinced by the latest development. "We will require more information on the terms of the licence and clarity on clauses such as 'subject to availability'," an executive with an unnamed international operator told the newspaper. The issue is complicated by the fact that 2G spectrum in India is in short supply and may require government bodies (such as the defence forces) to release spectrum to enable further allotments. Economic Times notes that there are currently 300 2G applications pending and that foreign operators do not stand a chance if they are asked to join the queue. In another apparent concession to potential foreign investors, the IM document has also called for India's finance ministry to raise the limit set to fund 3G auction bids via external commercial borrowings (ECB). Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had set a limit of US$500 million via ECBs for operators bidding for 3G spectrum.
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