The communications industry in India is growing at a fast pace with government as well as non-governmental support. The communications industry in India has undergone rapid changes in today’s times. Government policy Changes, increasing pace of investments and shifts in end-user adoption trends are fuelling the growth in this industry within the country. India is the fastest growing telecom market in the world.
BSNL, the first and the largest state-owned operator also stands as the 7th largest telecom company in the world considering number of subscribers. Now, the private companies like the Bharti Telecom, Tata Indicom, Vodafone, and MTNL also hold and control the markets with their subscribers. The total number of people as of June 2008 with the telephone connections crossed the 300 million mark.
If you see the past, the first experimental electric telegraph line was started between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour in 1850 and a year later, it was opened for the British East India Company.
The Government of India granted a licence to the Oriental Telephone Company Limited of England for opening telephone exchanges at Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad in the year 1881. Major E. Baring, a member of the Governor General of India's Council declared open the Telephone Exchange in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai on January 28,1882 and this day came to known as Red Letter Day in the history of telephone in India.
Until 1985, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was handling the telecom services in the entire country when Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) which was carved out of DoT was made to run the telecom services of Delhi and Mumbai. The corporate operations wing of DoT was made with the establishment of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) which paved the way for private players, such as Reliance India Mobile, Tata Telecom, Vodafone, BPL, Bharti, Idea etc.
The mobile services in India were commercially launched in August 1995. India is using both the GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code-division multiple access) technologies. The mobile tariffs in India are the lowest in the world with only US$5 monthly.
BSNL and MTNL are the dominant service providers for fixed line services. BSNL controls 79% of fixed line share in the whole country.In the mobile sector however, Airtel controls the largest subscriber base followed by Reliance, BSNL and Vodafone respectively.Internet penetration in India has also grown and the number of users having internet connection is the 4th largest in the world. Broadband internet access usage is also growing rapidly. BSNL, Sify, MTNL, STPI, Airtel, Netcom, Reliance and Hathway are some of the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in India. The broadband speed in India has been defined by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), as 256 kbit/s or higher. TRAI is currently regulating telecommunication and broadcasting (cable services) sectors.