Metamorphosis in Indian Telecom Industry

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Telecom Industry

Today, Telecommunications is one of the fastest-growing areas of technology in the world. Because of its rapid growth, businesses and individuals can access information at electronic speed from almost anywhere in the world. By including telecommunications in their operations, businesses can provide better services and products to their customers. For individuals, telecommunications provides access to worldwide information and services. India’s telephone network is one of the largest communication networks in the world which continues to grow at blistering pace. The Indian Telecommunications network with 621 million connections (as on March 2010) is the third largest network after China & USA and the fastest growing market with a growth rate of 45% in the world and the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia. The telecommunication sector continued to register significant success during the past few years and has emerged as one of the key sectors responsible for India’s resurgent and its economic growth.

This rapid growth has been possible due to various proactive and positive decisions of the Government and contribution of both by the public and the private sector. The rapid strides in the telecom sector have been facilitated by liberal policies of the Government that provide easy market access for telecom equipment and a fair regulatory framework for offering telecom services to the Indian consumers at affordable prices. Indian telecommunication sector has undergone a major process of transformation through significant policy reforms, particularly beginning with the announcement of National Telecom Policy (NTP) 1994 and was subsequently re-emphasized and carried forward under NTP 1999. Driven by various policy initiatives, the Indian telecom sector witnessed a complete transformation in the last decade. It has achieved a phenomenal growth during the last few years and is poised to take a big leap in the future also. Presently, all the telecom services have been opened for private participation.

Keywords: Telecommunication, Consumers, Teledensity, 3G Services, Technology

In today’s information age, the telecommunication industry has a vital role to play. Considered as the backbone of industrial and economic development, the industry has been aiding delivery of voice and data services at rapidly increasing speeds, and thus, has been revolutionising human communication. The development of the telecom sector has experienced a major process of transformation in terms of its growth, technological content, and market structure in the last decade through policy reforms introduced by the Government. The impetus of these changes is expected to continue, and at a much faster pace.

Indian telecom sector is more than 165 years old. Telecommunications was first introduced in India in 1851 when the first operational landlines were laid by the government near Kolkata (then Calcutta), although telephone services were formally introduced in India much later in 1881. Further, in 1883, telephone services were merged with the postal system. In 1947, after India attained independence, all foreign telecommunication companies were nationalised to form the Posts, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT), a body that was governed by the Ministry of Communication. The first wind of reforms in telecommunications sector began to flow in 1980s when the private sector was allowed in telecommunications equipment manufacturing. The government concretised its earlier efforts towards developing R&D in the sector by setting up an autonomous body – Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) in 1984 to develop state-of-the-art telecommunication technology to meet the growing needs of the Indian telecommunication network. In 1985, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was established. It was an exclusive provider of domestic and long-distance service that would...
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