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India - Major Telecommunications Operators


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The dynamic Indian telecommunications market has one particularly compelling feature – the very large number of significant operators. As the market constantly adjusts to the changing pressures and demands, takeovers and mergers ensure that some level of equilibrium is maintained. In the meantime, we see significant shifts in market share among the players. Of course it is the country’s booming mobile segment in which the major battles are being fought. Three major private players – Bharti, Reliance and Vodafone, with a formidable 54% share of the market between them, lead a field of 14 mobile operators. State-owned enterprises –BSNL and MTNL – have also been making their presence felt with a combined market share of 12%. Although the fixed-line telephony market in India has seen little growth of late (and is in fact shrinking), it remains an important segment of the overall market. It is the two state-owned operators that deliver the overwhelming majority of fixed-line services. This report provides details of the many players in India’s telecommunications market. The information offered includes comprehensive set of statistics covering the key areas in which the various telcos operate.

Key developments:

In a strong growth market the leading mobile operators have managed to hold market share and rankings; at in the meantime, the 2G scandal was continuing to cause a series of problems for operators; Batelco became the first foreign operator to exit the Indian market in the wake of the scandal; a number of other operators are considering whether to rebid in the re-auction of 2G licences; the regulators were aiming to hold the re-auction before the end of 2012, but further delays could occur; Uninor partners, Telenor and Unitech, were continuing to battle of the future of their the joint venture, with the issue becoming very heated; efforts of the government to increase participation of private operators in rolling out fixed lines have met with little success.

Companies covered in this report include:

Aircel/Dishnet, Bharti Airtel, Loop Mobile (BPL Mobile), Quadrant (HFCL), Idea/Spice, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone Essar, Uninor (Unitech), Videocon, S Tel, Bharti Telenet, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Teleservices, Sistema (Shyam Telelink), Swan Telecom, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Data Access, Hughes Telecom, Videocon, AT&T, France Telecom, Tulip Telecom, SingTel, Hathway Cable, Datacom.


1. Synopsis
2. Major operators in India
2.1 Market overview
2.2 Unified Access Service Licences (UASL)
2.3 Mergers and acquisitions
2.4 BSNL/MTNL
3. Operator and market statistics
3.1 Mobile market
3.2 Fixed-line market
4. Aircel/Dishnet
4.1.1 Overview
4.1.2 Corporate structure
4.1.3 Background
4.1.4 3G development
5. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
5.2 Overview
5.3 Mobile business
5.3.1 Background
5.3.2 Network development
5.3.3 3G development
5.4 Fixed-line business
5.4.1 Overview
5.4.2 Network development
5.4.3 Operational development
5.5 Broadband business
5.5.1 Wireless broadband
6. Bharti Airtel
6.1 Overview
6.2 Corporate structure
6.3 Mobile business
6.3.1 Background
6.3.2 3G development
6.3.3 Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE)
6.4 Fixed-line and broadband businesses
6.4.1 Background
6.5 International business
7. Data Access
8. Etisalat DB Telecom (Swan Telecom)
9. Hughes Telecom
10. Idea/Spice
10.1 Overview
10.2 Background
10.3 Corporate structure
10.4 3G development
11. Loop Mobile (formerly BPL Mobile)
11.1 Overview
11.2 Corporate structure and development
12. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
12.1 Overview
12.2 Corporate structure
12.3 Mobile business
12.3.1 Background
12.3.2 3G development
12.4 Fixed-line and broadband business
13. Reliance Communications
13.1 Overview
13.1.1 Corporate structure:
13.2 Mobile business
13.2.1 Background
13.2.2 Strategic development
13.2.3 3G development
13.2.4 4G development
13.3 Fixed-line business
13.4 International business
14. Sistema
14.1 Overview
14.2 Mobile business
14.3 Fixed-line business
15. Spice Telecom
15.1.1 Overview
15.1.2 Corporate structure
15.1.3 Historical development
16. S Tel
16.2 Overview
16.3 3G plans
17. Tata Teleservices
17.1 Overview
17.2 Corporate structure
17.3 Mobile business
17.3.1 Background
17.3.2 3G plans
17.4 Fixed-line business
17.4.1 Overview
17.4.2 Network development
17.5 International business: Tata Communications
17.5.1 Overview
17.5.2 Strategic development
17.5.3 Operational development
18. Uninor
18.1 Overview
18.2 Problems following 2G licence cancellation
19. Videocon
20. Vodafone Essar
20.1.1 Overview
20.1.2 Corporate structure
20.1.3 Tax dispute
20.1.4 Background
20.1.5 Strategic development
20.1.6 3G plans
21. Other operators and service providers
21.2 Mobile operators
21.2.1 Virgin Mobile
21.3 Fixed network operators
21.3.1 AT&T
21.3.2 France Telecom
21.3.3 Tulip Telecom
21.3.4 SingTel
21.4 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
21.4.1 Major ISPs
21.4.2 Internet telephony licences
22. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Mobile operators and subscribers – March 2012
Table 2 – Total mobile subscribers (GSM and CDMA) by operator and market share – March 2012
Table 3 – GSM mobile operators, subscribers and market share – March 2012
Table 4 – CDMA mobile operators, subscribers and market share – March 2012
Table 5 –Overall mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2012
Table 6 – Mobile ARPU by technology, prepaid/postpaid/blended – March 2012
Table 7 – Mobile ARPU (blended) for selected operators – 2011
Table 8 – Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2008 - 2012
Table 9 – Aircel mobile subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 10 – BSNL mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 11 – Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 12 – Bharti Airtel mobile ARPU – 2004 - 2005; 2007 - 2012
Table 13 – Bharti fixed-line subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 14 – Etisalat mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2012
Table 15 – Idea/Spice mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 16 – Idea/Spice mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2011
Table 17 – Loop Mobile (BPL) mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 18 – MTNL mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 19 – MTNL fixed-line subscribers – 2004; 2007; 2010 - 2012
Table 20 – Reliance mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 21 – Reliance mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2012
Table 22 – Reliance fixed-line subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 23 – Sistema mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2012
Table 24 – Spice Telecom mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2008
Table 25 – S Tel mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2012
Table 26 – Tata Teleservices mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 27 – Uninor mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2012
Table 28 – Videocon mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2012
Table 29 – Vodafone Essar mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2012
Table 30 – Vodafone Essar mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2011
Table 31 – Number of licensed ISPs – 2002 – 2003; 2005; 2008 - 2012
Table 32 – ISP market – leading operators, subscribers and market share – March 2012
Chart 1 - Mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – September 2011
Chart 2 - Fixed-line operator market share – September 2011
Exhibit 1– Fixed-line basic services by operator – March 2012
Exhibit 2 – Major shareholders in Bharti Airtel – April 2012
Exhibit 3 – Bharti Airtel – mobile operations - key statistics
Exhibit 4 – Idea Cellular – mobile operations - key statistics
Exhibit 5 – Reliance Communications – mobile operations - key statistics
Exhibit 6 – Tata Teleservices – mobile operations - key statistics
Exhibit 7 – Vodafone Essar – mobile operations - key statistics

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