India - Key Statistics, Telecommunications Market and Regulatory Overview
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. The mobile sector had grown from around 10 million subscribers in 2002 to pass the 900 million mark in early 2012. Events in 2012 were to see a correction in the local telecom market, but, overall, growth was continuing. GSM technology dominates the mobile market, while CDMA manages to cling to a declining market share of around 7% in 2013. Growth in the mobile industry was expected to continue at least into the medium term, boosted by the allocation of 3G licences and the subsequent large scale roll-out of 3G networks. On the other hand the impact of the major scandal over the awarding of 2G licences in 2008 was certainly not good news for the mobile industry. Court decisions and the subsequent responses of the regulators were central to the eventual outcome. Re-auctioning of the 2G mobile licences went some way to settling the market, but much more needed to be done in this regard. By 2014 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. The fixed-line market, which had grown strongly for a while, began experiencing zero and then negative growth. In terms of online access, there has been a fresh effort to promote broadband internet throughout the country; after a period in which broadband development languished, there was new hope for a serious expansion phase in this segment of the market. The impact of mobile broadband had also started to felt by the market and by 2013 was looking set to dramatically change the internet sector.
This report presents the key measures and takes a general look at India's telecom market together with the direction it is heading. It also considers the evolving regulatory landscape.
overall growth in India's telecom market remains fundamentally strong; but the huge mobile market has been going through a period of uncertainty;
the consequences of the 2G corruption scandal have continued to impact on the industry;
in 2012 mobile operators carried out a major purge' of inactive subscribers from their databases;
broadband internet continues to see growth
fixed broadband growth has slowed but market is running at 80% of all fixed internet services;
mobile broadband services have breathed fresh life into the sector, helping increase broadband penetration across the market;
the government removed the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap on telecom investment;
Vodafone was the first company to take advantage of this new foreign investment regime;
BSNL continued to receive funding from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF);
spectrum fees continued to be a controversial issue;
one example, the government required GSM operators to pay a fee to keep any excess' spectrum holdings beyond the 4.4MHz initially allocated.
Companies covered in this report include:
Aircel/Dishnet, Bharti Airtel, Loop Mobile (BPL Mobile), 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), Videocon.
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