A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN AIRTEL AND VODAFONE USERS IN CITY OF MUMBAI.
The Indian telecommunications Network with 250m telephone connections is the fifth largest in the world and is the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia. Today it is the fastest growing market in the world and represents unique opportunities for UK companies in the stagnant global scenario. Tele-density, which was languishing at 2% in 1999, has shown an impressive jump to 9.5% in 2006 and 10.5% in 2007 and is set to increase to 20% in the next five years beating the Govt. target by three years. Accordingly, India requires incremental investments of USD 20-25 billion for the next five years. Private operators have made mobile telephony the fastest growing (over 164% p.a.) in India. With more than 33 million users (both CDMA and GSM), wireless is the principal growth engine of the Indian telecom industry. Given the current growth trends, cellular connections in India will surpass fixed line by late 2004/early 2005. Intense competition between the four main private groups - Bharti, Vodafone, Tata and Reliance and with the State sector incumbents-BSNL and MTNL has brought about a significant drop in tariffs. There has been almost 74% in cell phone charges, 70% in ILD calls and 25% drop in NLD charges, resulting in a boom time for the consumers. The Government has played a key enabling role by deregulating and liberalizing the industry, ushering in competition and paving the way for growth. While there were regulatory irregularities earlier, resulting in litigation, these have all been addressed now. Customs duties on hardware and mobile handsets have been reduced from 14 percent to 5 percent. The Indian government has merged the IT and Telecom Ministries to speed up reforms and decision on the Communication Convergence Bill to enable the common regulation of the Internet, broadcasting and telecoms will be taken after the new Government assumes responsibilities in may this year. An independent regulatory body (TRAI) and dispute settlement body (TDSAT) is fully functional.
GROWTH OF TELECOM COMPANIES
CHANGING FACE OF INDIAN MOBILE CONSUMER
INDIAN CELLULAR MARKET
The Bharti Group, which operates in 23 circles, continues to be the country's largest cellular operator, with 50 lakh subscribers. BSNL, which operates in 22 circles, has a subscriber base of 37 lakh subscribers. Thus BSNL stands second largest cellular Operator in terms of subscriber base at the end of the fiscal ending March 31, 2007, displacing Vodafone from the second position. Vodafone, which operates in only eighteen circles, is the third largest operator with a subscriber base of 32 lakh. Unlike fellow public sector undertaking, MTNL, which operates in Mumbai and Delhi, BSNL has been a very aggressive player in the market. "Cellular operators who expected BSNL to go the MTNL way, were taken by surprise and did not take effective steps to counter it, till it was too late in the day," said a telecom analyst. Belying fears of a slowdown in cellular subscriber acquisitions, the cell club has reported a 7.92% growth, the highest growth in any month so far, during March 2005. Year-on-year, the cellular subscriber base in the country has almost doubled in March 2005, and is expanding at the rate of 25% per year thereafter. The cellular subscriber club expanded by 21.31 lakh last month. This is much higher than 5.9 lakh subscribers added in February 2005 and 2.13 lakh in January 2005. Idea, which operates in Seven circles, is the fourth largest operator with a subscriber base of 17.80 lakh, higher than BPL's 11.31 lakh subscribers across four circles. The subscriber numbers per operator drop sharply with the sixth largest operator, Spice Communications, having a subscriber base of 9.40 lakh, followed by Reliance Telecom's 8.9 lakh subscribers. MTNL is the ninth largest operator, with a base of 8.32 lakh subscribers. While the subscriber...