(Last Updated on : 08/07/2017)
Indian telecommunications significantly affect the socio-economic development of India. Telephone, mobile, television and internet are important aspects of Indian telecommunications. Efforts have been made by governmental and non-governmental organizations to improve telecommunications infrastructure in India. The idea is to help modern telecommunication technologies to serve all the segments of India's ethnically diverse society and to transform India into a country of technologically sound people.
Historical Development of Indian Telecommunications
Indian telecommunications revolution in a real sense gathered further momentum during the 1990s. It was spurred by the sweeping economic reforms of the Narasimha Rao government
. While the pace of telecommunications reform was slow and the government-run Department of Telecommunications was reluctant to part with its monopoly status, private sector investment in telecommunications increased. Telephone density in the year 2000 increased steeply to one telephone for 34 people. However, it was still low for a nation pursuing informatisation. Telephone services reached Indian villages
and market town, which were aided by the establishment of digital automatic exchanges and some 650,000 public call offices.
Until a few decades ago, telephone service in India was at its developing stages. There was only about one telephone for every 200 people. Telephone service was considered to be a luxury and was accorded a low priority by government policy-makers. This point of view was replaced in the beginning of the mid-1980s with a vision that telecom services are essential for the sectors like business and industry
and for economic
development. The revolution in telecommunication services began under the leadership of India's high-tech prime minister
, Rajiv Gandhi
and Satyen (Sam) Pitroda, a U.S.-returned expatriate Indian.
The total number of telephones in India crossed the 300 million mark on 18th of June, 2008 and the overall teledensity increased to 36.98 percent in March, 2009. In the wireless segment, 15.87 million subscribers were added in March, 2009. About 833 million wireless subscribers were active in December, 2014, out of the total mobile or wireless subscriber (GSM, CDMA and WLL (F)) base in India. The wireless subscriber base crossed the 935.3 million mark at the end of October, 2014. The wireline segment subscriber base stood at 38.22 million with a decline of 0.13 million in October, 2008. It reduced to 27 million in November, 2014.
Indian telecommunications is the lifeline of the rapidly growing Information Technology
(IT) industry. Internet subscriber base had risen to 6.94 million during 2005-2006. Out of this, 1.35 million used broadband connections. More than a billion people use the internet, globally. It has been estimated that 269 million people use internet in urban India, while only 163 million people use internet in rural India.
Indian Telecommunication Industry
Indian telecommunication industry includes telephone, internet and television
broadcast industry. This industry witnessed a turning point with the rise of Bengaluru
as a technopolis for India's software exports. With the passage of time, people aimed at a rise in consumers income. Their financial spending was triggered by strong economic growth, which helped in making India the fastest-growing telecom market in the world. The first and largest operator in the telecom market in India is the state
-owned organization namely, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited). It is the 7th largest telecom company in the world in terms of its number of subscribers. BSNL was created by corporatization of the previous DTS (Department of Telecommunication Services), a government unit responsible for the provision of telephony services. Subsequently, after the telecommunication policies were renewed to welcome private operators, companies such as Tata Indicom, Bharti Telecom, Vodafone, MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited), Idea and BPL eventually entered Indian telecommunications.