The telecom industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India. India has nearly 200 million telephone lines making it the third largest network in the world after China and USA. With a growth rate of 45%, Indian telecom industry has the highest growth rate in the world. History of Indian Telecommunications started in 1851 when the first operational land lines were laid by the government near Calcutta (seat of British power). Telephone services were introduced in India in 1881. In 1883 telephone services were merged with the postal system. Indian Radio Telegraph Company (IRT) was formed in 1923. After independence in 1947, all the foreign telecommunication companies were nationalized to form the Posts, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT), a monopoly run by the government's Ministry of Communications. Telecom sector was considered as a strategic service and the government considered it best to bring under state's control. The first wind of reforms in telecommunications sector began to flow in 1980s when the private sector was allowed in telecommunications equipment manufacturing. In 1985, Department of Telecommunications (DOT) was established. It was an exclusive provider of domestic and long- distance service that would be its own regulator (separate from the postal system). In 1986, two wholly government-owned companies were created: the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) for international telecommunications and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for service in metropolitan areas. In 1990s, telecommunications sector benefited from the general opening up of the economy. Also, examples of telecom revolution in many other countries, which resulted in better quality of service and lower tariffs, led Indian policy makers to initiate a change process finally resulting in opening up of telecom services sector for the private sector. National Telecom Policy (NTP) 1994 was the first attempt to give a comprehensive roadmap for the...
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