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India - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses


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India - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses

Despite setbacks, India continues to be one of the fastest growing major telecom markets in the world. It is also one of the largest. Sweeping reforms introduced by successive Indian governments over the last decade have dramatically changed the nature of telecommunications in the country. By 2016 there were positive signs of a healthier regulatory environment taking shape. The government has been continuing to push to complete the restructuring of the telecommunications regulatory regime.

India's mobile market continues to get the bulk of local capital expenditure as the operators expand their infrastructure. The mobile market continues to be the main focus of the Indian telecom sector. India has a huge national telecommunications network. The fixed line market in India remains highly underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment continues to expand. Overall penetration dropped from 2.1% in 2014 to 2.0% in 2015 and 1.9% in 2016.

With fixed-line penetration falling below 3%, the country has nevertheless achieved a remarkable coverage, 99% of the population having some form of access to a telephone. There has been heavy investment in telecoms infrastructure over the last decade to service the huge population. The government and the operators push forward on a number of fronts to speed up the roll-out of services to the wider population. Market leader BSNL's market share has dropped significantly over the past six years due to growing market competition and the entry of new players in the market such as Vodafone.

In 2016 Vodafone signed an agreement to acquire cable broadband provider YOU Broadband for INR4 billion (USD59.9 million). The acquisition is part of Vodafone's strategy of increasing its presence in the fixed broadband market. The takeover is expected to strengthen its mobile data services.

There has been a fresh effort to promote broadband throughout the country; after a period in which broadband development languished, and there is now hope for a serious expansion phase in this segment of the market. Mobile broadband has also impacted the market and by 2016 was already dramatically changing the internet sector.

Key developments:

a national optical fibre network (NOFN) project has been launched;
the total number of connected villages' in India has passed 99%;
the Indian government spun out the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) from the Ministry of Communications
India's Telecom Commission approved the introduction of a new category of unified licence, virtual network operators (VNOs).
The TRAI published new regulations on net neutrality, prohibiting operators from providing discriminatory tariffs based on content.
Vodafone signed an agreement to acquire cable broadband provider YOU Broadband for INR4 billion (USD59.9 million).

Companies mentioned in this report:

Aircel/Dishnet, Bharti Airtel, Loop Mobile (BPL Mobile), Idea, 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), Videocon.


1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market Overview and Analysis
3.2 Background
3.3 Telecommunications Investment
3.3.1 Foreign investment
3.3.2 Investment in IT infrastructure
3.3.3 Investment in Digital Projects
3.3.4 Rural Projects
3.4 Historical overview
3.4.1 2G scandal
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Overview
4.2 Regulatory authorities
4.2.1 Ministry for Communications (MoC)
4.2.2 Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
4.2.3 Telecom Commission
4.2.4 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
4.2.5 Telecom Dispute Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)
4.2.6 Communications Commission of India (CCI)
4.2.7 Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)
4.3 Licensing circles
4.4 Licensing VNO's
4.5 Net Neutrality
4.6 Regulatory developments
4.6.1 Overview
4.6.2 Regulatory developments - 2015
4.6.3 Regulatory developments - 2014
4.7 Government policies
4.7.1 National Telecom Policies 1999 (NTP-99)
4.7.2 Addendum to NTP-99
4.7.3 National Broadband Policy 2004
4.7.4 12th Five Year Plan (2012 2017)
4.8 Interconnect
5. Fixed network operators
5.1 Fixed-line statistics by Operator
5.2 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
5.2.1 Overview
5.2.2 Fixed-line business
5.3 Bharti Airtel
5.4 Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
5.5 Quadrant
5.6 Reliance Communications
5.7 SSTL (Sistema)
5.8 Tata Teleservices
5.9 Videocon
5.10 Vodafone
5.11 NTT
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 Overview of the national telecom network
6.2 Statistics
6.3 Telecom towers
6.3.1 Overview
6.3.2 Developments
6.4 Rural and regional networks
6.4.1 Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
6.4.2 Village Public Telephones (VPTs)
6.4.3 Public Call Offices (PCOs)
6.5 National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
6.6 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
6.7 International infrastructure
6.7.1 Background
6.8 Satellite communications
6.8.1 INSAT
6.8.2 Intelsat
6.8.3 Thaicom (formerly ShinSat)
6.9 Submarine cable networks
6.9.1 FLAG
6.9.2 Network i2i
6.9.3 Tata-Indicom cable
6.9.4 SEA-ME-WE 4
6.9.5 Bharat Lanka cable
6.9.6 India, Middle East, Western Europe (I-ME-WE) cable
6.9.7 Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable
6.9.8 Southeast Asia Japan Cable System (SJC)
6.9.9 Submarine cable developments
6.10 Specific IT developments
6.10.1 Data Centres
6.10.2 Cloud Computing
7. Smart infrastructure
7.1 M2M/IoT
7.2 Smart cities
8. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics India 2016
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2016
Table 3 Broadband statistics 2016
Table 4 Mobile statistics 2016
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Historical - Foreign Direct Investment in telecom sector 2004 - 2014
Table 8 Telephone services to villages (Universal Services) 2016
Table 9 Historical - Number of telecom licences issued by category 2007 - 2008
Table 10 Number of telecom licences issued by category 2013
Table 11 Fixed Line Service Provider by Rural, Urban Segment March 2016
Table 13 BSNL fixed-line subscribers 2002; 2012 - 2016
Table 14 Bharti Airtel Revenue and EBITDA 2015 - 2016
Table 15 Bharti fixed-line subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 16 MTNL fixed-line subscribers 2004; 2007; 2010 - 2016
Table 17 Quadrant fixed-line subscribers 2012 - 2016
Table 18 Reliance fixed-line subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 19 Sistema fixed-line subscribers 2010 - 2016
Table 20 Tata fixed-line subscribers 2011 - 2016
Table 21 Videocon mobile subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 22 Vodafone Fixed Line subscribers 2011 - 2016
Table 23 Fixed-line subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2016
Table 24 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity (historical) 1995 - 2005
Table 25 Growth of VPT scheme 2001 - 2015
Table 26 PCOs in operation 2003 2004; 2007 - 2015
Chart 1 Fixed-line subscribers market share by operator
Chart 2 - Fixed-line subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2016
Exhibit 1 Fixed-line basic services by operator
Exhibit 2 Major shareholders in Bharti Airtel
Exhibit 3 ISRO satellite network
Exhibit 4 International submarine cable systems with landing points in India

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