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Telecommunications in India India's telecommunication network is the second largest in the world based on the total number of telephone

users (both fixed and mobile phone). It has one of the lowest call tariffs in the world enabled by the mega telephone networks and hyper-competition among them. It has the world's third-largest Internet user-base with over 137 million as of June 2012. Major sectors of the Indian telecommunication industry are telephony, internet and television broadcasting. Indian telecom industry underwent a high pace of market liberalisation and growth since 1990s and now has become the world's most competitive and one of the fastest growing telecom markets. The Industry has grown over twenty times in just ten years, from under 37 million subscribers in the year 2001 to over 846 million subscribers in the year 2011. India has the world's second-largest mobile phone user base with over 929.37 million users as of May 2012. It has the world's third-largest Internet user-base with over 137 million as of June 2012. The total revenue of the Indian telecom sector grew by 7% to INR283207 crore (US$45 billion) for 201011 financial year, while revenues from telecom equipment segment stood at INR117039 crore (US$19 billion). Telecommunication has supported the socioeconomic development of India and has played a significant role to narrow down the rural-urban digital divide to some extent. It also has helped to increase the transparency of governance with the introduction of e-governance in India. History The Beginning The history of Indian telecom can be started with the introduction of telegraph. The Indian postal and telecom sectors are one of the worlds oldest. In 1850, the first experimental electric telegraph line was started between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour. In 1851, it was opened for the use of the British. The Posts and Telegraphs department occupied a small corner of the Public Works Department at that time. Subsequently, the construction of 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of telegraph lines connecting Kolkata (then Calcutta) and Peshawar in the north along with Agra, Mumbai (then Bombay) through Sindwa Ghats, and Chennai (then Madras) in the south, as well as Ootacamund and Bangalore was started in November 1853. William O'Shaughnessy, who pioneered the telegraph and telephone in India, belonged to the Public Works Department, and worked towards the development of telecom throughout this period. A separate department was opened in 1854 when telegraph facilities were opened to the public. In 1880, two telephone companies namely The Oriental Telephone Company Ltd. and The Anglo-Indian Telephone Company Ltd. approached the Government to establish telephone exchanges in India. The permission was refused on the grounds that the establishment of telephones was a Government monopoly and that the Government itself would undertake the work. In 1881, the Government later reversed its earlier decision and a licence was granted to

the Oriental Telephone Company Limited of England for opening telephone exchanges at Calcutta, Bombay, Madras andAhmedabad and the first formal telephone service was established in the country.[12] On 28 January 1882, Major E. Baring, Member of the Governor General of India's Council declared open the Telephone Exchanges in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The exchange in Calcutta named the "Central Exchange" had a total of 93 subscribers in its early stage. Later that year, Bombay also witnessed the opening of a telephone exchange.

Further developments and milestones Pre-1902 Cable telegraph 1902 First wireless telegraph station established between Sagar Island and Sandhead. 1907 First Central Battery of telephones introduced in Kanpur. 19131914 First Automatic Exchange installed in Shimla. 1927 Radio-telegraph system between the UK and India, with Imperial Wireless Chain beam stations at Khadki and Daund. Inaugurated by Lord Irwin on 23 July by exchanging greetings with King George V. 1933 Radiotelephone system inaugurated between the UK and India. 1953 12 channel carrier system introduced. 1960 First subscriber trunk dialling route commissioned between Lucknow and Kanpur.[citation needed] 1975 First PCM system commissioned between Mumbai City and Andheri telephone exchanges. 1976 First digital microwave junction. 1979 First optical fibre system for local junction commissioned at Pune. 1980 First satellite earth station for domestic communications established at Sikandarabad, U.P.. 1983 First analogue Stored Programme Control exchange for trunk lines commissioned at Mumbai. 1984 C-DOT established for indigenous development and production of digital exchanges. 1995 First mobile telephone service started on non-commercial basis on 15 August 1995 in Delhi. 1995 Internet Introduced in India starting with Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Pune on 15 August

Liberalisation and privatisation Liberalisation of Indian telecommunication industry started in 1981 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed contracts with Alcatel CIT of France to merge with the state owned Telecom Company (ITI), in an effort to set up 5,000,000 lines per year. But soon the policy was let down because of political opposition. Attempts to liberalise the telecommunication industry were continued by the following government under the prime-minister-ship of Rajiv Gandhi. He invited Sam Pitroda, a US-based Non-resident Indian NRI and a former Rockwell International executive to set up a Centre for Development of Telematics(C-DOT) which manufactured electronic telephone exchanges in India for the first time. Sam Pitroda had a significant role as a consultant and adviser in the development of telecommunication in India. In 1997, the government set up TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) which reduced the interference of Government in deciding tariffs and policy making. The political powers changed in 1999 and the new government under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was more pro-reforms and introduced better liberalisation policies. In 2000, the Vajpayee government constituted the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) through an amendment of the TRAI Act, 1997. The primary objective of TDSAT's establishment was to release TRAI from adjudicatory and dispute settlement functions in order to strengthen the regulatory framework. Any dispute involving parties like licensor, licensee, service provider and consumers are resolved by TDSAT. Moreover, any direction, order or decision of TRAI can be challenged by appealing in TDSAT. The government corporatized the operations wing of DoT on 1 October 2000 and named it as Department of Telecommunication Services (DTS) which was later named as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The proposal of raising the stake of foreign investors from 49% to 74% was rejected by the opposite political parties and leftist thinkers. Domestic business groups wanted the government to privatise VSNL. Finally in April 2002, the government decided to cut its stake of 53% to 26% in VSNL and to throw it open for sale to private enterprises. TATA finally took 25% stake in VSNL. In March 2008 the total GSM and CDMA mobile subscriber base in the country was 375 million, which represented a nearly 50% growth when compared with previous year. As the unbranded Chinese cell phones which do not have International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers pose a serious security risk to the country, Mobile network operators therefore suspended the usage of around 30 million mobile phones (about 8% of all mobiles in the country) by 30 April. Phones without valid IMEI cannot be connected to cellular operators. 56 years the average monthly subscribers additions were around 0.05 to 0.1 million only and the total mobile subscribers base in December 2002 stood at 10.5 millions. However, after a number of proactive initiatives taken by regulators and licensors, the total number of mobile subscribers has increased rapidly to over 929 million subscribers as of May 2012.

Sectors Major sectors of telecommunication industry in India are telephony, internet, Data centers and broadcasting. Telephony The telephony segment is dominated by private-sector and two state-run businesses. Most companies were formed by a recent revolution and restructuring launched within a decade, directed by Ministry of Communications and IT, Department of Telecommunications and Minister of Finance. Since then, most companies gained 2G, 3G and 4G licences and engaged fixed-line, mobile and internet business in India. On landlines, intra-circle calls are considered local calls while inter-circle are considered long distance calls. Foreign Direct Investment policy which increased the foreign ownership cap from 49% to 74%.Now it is 100%. Currently Government is working to integrate the whole country in one telecom circle. For long distance calls, the area code prefixed with a zero is dialled first which is then followed by the number (i.e. To call Delhi, 011 would be dialled first followed by the phone number). For international calls, "00" must be dialled first followed by the country code, area code and local phone number. The country code for India is 91. Several international fibre-optic links include those to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany. Some major telecom operators in India include Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel, BSNL, MTNL, Reliance Communications, TATA Teleservices, Infotel, MTS, Uninor, TATA DoCoMo, Videocon, Augere, Tikona Digital. Fixed Telephony Until the New Telecom Policy was announced in 1999, only the Governmentowned BSNL and MTNL were allowed to provide land-line phone services through copper wire in India with MTNL operating in Delhi and Mumbai and BSNL servicing all other areas of the country. Due to the rapid growth of the cellular phone industry in India, landlines are facing stiff competition from cellular operators. This has forced land-line service providers to become more efficient and improve their quality of service. Land-line connexions are now also available on demand, even in high density urban areas. India has over 31 million main line customers. Mobile Telephony In August 1995, Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri Jyoti Basu ushered in the cellphone revolution in India by making the first call to Union Telecom Minister Sukhram. Sixteen years later 4th generation services were launched in Kolkata. With a subscriber base of more than 929 million, the Mobile telecommunications system in India is the second largest in the world and it was thrown open to private players in the 1990s. GSM was comfortably maintaining its position as the dominant mobile technology with 80% of the mobile subscriber market, but CDMA seemed to have stabilised its market share at 20% for the time being. By May 2012 the country had 929 million mobile

subscribers, up from 350 million just 40 months earlier. The mobile market was continuing to expand at an annual rate in excess of 40% coming into 2010. According to data provided by Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora, as of 30 November 2012, India has 736,654 base transceiver stations (2G GSM & CDMA, and 3G). Of those, 96,212 base transceiver stations provide 3G mobile and data services. Out of India's 640 districts, 610 districts are covered by 3G services as of 30 November 2012. The country is divided into multiple zones, called circles (roughly along state boundaries). Government and several private players run local and long distance telephone services. Competition has caused prices to drop and calls across India are one of the cheapest in the world. The rates are supposed to go down further with new measures to be taken by the Information Ministry. In September 2004, the number of mobile phone connexions crossed the number of fixed-line connexions and presently dwarfs the wireline segment by a ratio of around 20:1. The mobile subscriber base has grown by a factor of over a hundred and thirty, from 5 million subscribers in 2001 to over 929 million subscribers as of May 2012. India primarily follows the GSM mobile system, in the 900 MHz band. Recent operators also operate in the 1800 MHz band. The dominant players are Airtel, Reliance Infocomm, Vodafone, Idea cellular and BSNL/MTNL. There are many smaller players, with operations in only a few states. International roaming agreements exist between most operators and many foreign carriers. The government allowed Mobile number portability (MNP) which enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

India is divided into 22 telecom circles: Wireline subscriber base in million(May 2012) 2.33 0.20 0.56 2.9 Wireless subscriber base in million(May 2012) 66.6 14.6 62.97 42.95 54.32 23.00 7.41 Teledensity (May 2012) 80.46 47.7 48.37 239.91 92.56 90.86 112.29

Telecom circle

Andhra Pradesh Assam Bihar & Jharkhand Delhi

Gujarat & Daman & Diu 1.82 Haryana Himachal Pradesh 0.59 0.30

Telecom circle

Wireline subscriber base in million(May 2012) 0.20 2.48 3.18 1.18 1.13

Wireless subscriber base in million(May 2012) 6.57 56.63 34.51 25.25 53.30

Teledensity (May 2012) 56.92 98.22 107.85 Not available* 55.38

Jammu and Kashmir Karnataka Kerala & Lakshadweep Kolkata Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh Maharashtra & Goa (excluding Mumbai ) Mumbai* North East ^** Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu(including Chennai since 2005)[34] Uttar Pradesh(East) Uttar Pradesh(West) & Uttarakhand West Bengal(excluding Kolkata)***

2.64 3.0 0.25 0.40 1.44 1.14 3.16 1.20 0.79

71.00 35.93 8.76 26.27 31.17 49.52 78.96 77.74 55.12

96.71 * Not available * 64.74 64.73 110.22 73.26 118.29 62.65(Combined)* 62.65(Combined)* 80.56 *



Mobile phone service operators


Aircel, headquartered in Chennai, India has absorbed Cingular Wireless, and offers 2G service using GSM technology and 3G service using UMTS technology.


Airtel, with its head offices in both Mumbai and Berhampur, India provides 2G service using GSM and 3G service using UMTS/HSPA technology


BSNL, headquartered in New Delhi, is a public listed company and is state-owned. It offers 2G service using GSM and 3G service using UMTS. It was the first service provider to introduce 3G services in India.

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (formerly SWAN Telecom)

In 2009, Etisalat has announced that its Indian unit, erstwhile Swan Telecom (owned by Dynamix Balwas Realty and Reliance Communications), headquartered in Mumbai, is renamed to Etisalat DB Telecom India Pvt. Ltd.

Idea Cellular

Idea Cellular, headquartered in Mumbai, has absorbed Cingular Wireless, and offers 2G service using GSM technology and 3G service using UMTS technology.

Loop Mobile India (Formerly BPL Mobile)

Loop Mobile India, is a mobile phone service provider in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


MTNL, headquartered in Mumbai is a public listed company and is state-owned and offers 2G service using CDMA and 3G service using GSM.

MTS India Ping Mobile Reliance Communications

Reliance Communications, with its head offices in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra provides CDMA 2G service using cdmaOne and CDMA 3G service using CDMA2000 EVDO technology. It also provides GSM 2G services & 3G GSM HSDPA Services.

S Tel Spice Telecom Tata DoCoMo

Tata DoCoMo is joint venture company of Tata Teleservices and NTT DoCoMo

Uninor Videocon Mobile Service (Formerly Datacom Solutions) Virgin Mobile CDMA and GSM Vodafone Essar (Formerly Hutchison Essar/Hutch Orange/Hutch Pink) Swadesh Mobile (provides international calling service plans nationwide)

Mobile network operators of India


Operator's Name


(in millions)


Market Share



193.4 (October
2013) [1]

Bharti Enterprises (64.76%) SingTel (32%) Vodafone (4.4%)

28.49% (October 2013)



195.5 (October

Vodafone Group (100%)

22.91% (October 2013)

Reliance Communications


154.11 (September

Reliance ADAG (67%) Public (26%)


Idea Cellular


127.2 (Q2 2013)


Aditya Birla (49.05%) Axiata Group Berhad (19.96%)

18.74% (October 2013)


Operator's Name


(in millions)


Market Share



97.17 (October


14.31% (October 2013)

Tata DoCoMo Virgin Mobile India Talk24/T24


90.09 (August

Tata Teleservices (74%) NTT DoCoMo (26%)




63.20 (October

Maxis Communications (74%) Apollo Hospital (26%)

9.32% (October 2013)



32.30 (October

Unitech Wireless ]] (67.25%) Unitech Group (32.75%)

4.77% (October 2013)

MTS India


14.01 (October 2011)

Sistema (73.71%) Shyam Group (23.79%)





3.24 (October 2013)[1]


0.48% (October 2013)




3.61 (October 2013)[1]


0.53% (October 2013)

Monthly mobile subscriber additions

The following table illustrates the gradual increase in monthly mobile subscriber additions (in millions) in India since January 2002.

Avera Annu al Ye ar Ja n Febr uary M arc h A pr il M a y Ju ne J ul y Au gus t Septe mber Oct obe r Nove mber Dece mber Addit ions(i n millio ns) ge Mont hly Addit ions(i n millio ns)


0.28 0.35


0.28 0.29 0.35 0.36 0.49








0.64 0.6


0.64 2.26 1.42 2.31 1.79








1.58 1.6


1.37 1.33 1.43 1.74 1.67








1.76 1.67


1.46 1.72 1.98 2.45 2.74








4.69 4.28


3.88 4.25 4.78 5.28 5.9








6.81 6.21


6.11 6.57 7.34 8.06 8.31








8.77 8.53

10.16 8.21 8.62 8.94 9.22 9.16


10.42 10.35





15.41 13.82


11.9 11.5 12.0 14.3 15.08 14.98 0 8 4 8

16.67 17.65





19.90 18.76

20.59 16.9

16.3 17.9 16.9 18.18 17.1 1 8 2

18.98 22.88





18.99 20.20


15.3 13.3 11.4

6.67 7.34







Avera Annu al Ye ar Ja n Febr uary M arc h A pr il M a y Ju ne J ul y Au gus t Septe mber Oct obe r Nove mber Dece mber Addit ions(i n millio ns) ge Mont hly Addit ions(i n millio ns)

Mobile cellular: The mobile telephone network has aggrandized greatly since 2000. The number of mobile phone connections crossed fixed-line connections in Sept 2004 and currently there are an estimated 875.48 million mobile phone users in India [1] compared to 29.08 million fixed line subscribers.[1] India primarily follows the GSM mobile system, in the 900 MHz band. Recent operators also operate in the 1800 MHz band. 3G operations are carried out in 2100 MHz band. The dominant players are Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Tata DoCoMo, Reliance Communications and state run BSNL/MTNL. There are many smaller players like Aircel, Loop Mobile, Videocon, MTS, Uninor etc. with operations in only a few states. International roaming agreements exist between most operators and many foreign carriers.

Comparison of marketing strategies Between Bharti Airtel and Vodafone

Purpose of comparison The sub main purpose of this report is to compare the marketing Strategies adopted by Bharti Airtel and its rival Vodafone The comparison shows how both of the companies have been challenging each other to gain market shares. Why comparison with Vodafone Bharti Airtel is the leader in telecommunication sector Bharti Airtel holds the lion share of market of communication sector. However, Vodafone has been giving tough competition to Bharti Airtel. Vodafone is the second largest player and shareholder in Communication sector.

Since its launch Vodafone has been adopting aggressive marketing strategies. The comparison shows how Hutchison Essar Telecom. Captured 22% market share in one month of its first launch of postpaid subscription in 2002. With a different technology Vodafone creates its own market Vodafone today deals in every business of communication sector. Vodafone making and changing the strategies to capture the market shares Brand positioning by Bharti Airtel Market segmentation Geographical segment (metropolitans & cities India) Demographic segment - middle income groups People age group of 20 to 28 year Target marketing People who living in cities and towns. Poor or middle income group people. Youngsters in big cities. Businessmen

Positioning Creating brands (Sharukh khan & Sachin Tendulker) Ads and promotions. Promotion for study of poor childrens. Marketing mix

Price: Place:

low price strategy maximum outlets and service centers

Product: Promotion:

verities available for various groups various schemes for pre-paid and post-paid

Marketing strategies of VODAFONE Vodafone target the rural India The main targeted customers of Vodafone are from rural India. By offering cheap and light mobile sets Vodafone attracts most of the customers of small villages and towns. Offering cheap handsets Vodafone offers cheap and free connections to all customers. The cost for these sets was Rs-799-849-1099\set and onward Free support and services In every district and big towns Vodafone opens its service centers to provide better support and services. Strong logistics and supply chain Vodafone has a strong logistic and supply all over India. In every small town the potential customers can easily purchase the Vodafone SIM & Sets. Targeting youngsters in metropolitans Vodafone attracts youngsters by offering colorful handset at very low prices. Brand positioning by VODAFONE Market segmentation Geographical segment (rural India) Demographic segment - middle income groups

Target marketing People living in small towns and villages. Poor and middle income groups. Youngsters in big cities. Businessmen Positioning Creating brands Ads and promotions Marketing mix Price : low price strategy Place : maximum outlets and service centers Product : verities available for various groups Promotion: various schemes for pre-paid and post-paid Services provided by Bharti AirteI Mobile services with GSM technology Fixed-line connections National and international long distance services VSAT, Internet services and network solutions Broadband services

Services provided by Vodafone mobile services with GSM technology fixed- line telephone services Universal Internetworking

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Interactive Television Visual Communication Broadband Portal CONCLUSION After analysing the findings of the research, I can conclude that Airtel lagged behind its competitors as far as customer service and availability is concerned. The maximum no. of people who use the mobile is in the age group of 20 to 28. Cash cards are the most popular type of mobile connections, as they are consumer friendly and recharging the connection is not a problem. Maximum no. of people spends RS 500 on their connections. As Airtel is the only company having the maximum no of mobile connections so it must seriously look into the loop holes of the existing customer service department. As we know that now Airtel has already launched its product with logo Aisi azaadi aur kahan has already became popular in market. So we can say that in spite of so many competitors in the market Airtel is having a good position just because every time, it tries its best to understand the need of its important customers. From the comparison and deep analysis of every aspect of business of both the companies we can conclude that bharti Airtel has to more work in every field of communication business. It is the time not only to survive but to sustain in the market for a long time. For this Airtel has to work on its all marketing strategies, marketing, promotion, brand image etc. Airtel has to take Vodafone. Very seriously and update its own strategies from time to time and when the need arises. With aggressive marketing strategies Airtel has to target rural India as 70% of population of India lives in these areas.


Following are the few suggestions to AIRTEL for improving the market share and image of the products concerned. 1. PRODUCT *Modification must be brought about in AIRTEL, in terms of quality. Its demand should be increased. 2. PLACE * The brands must be made available easily in, PCO & general store 3. PROMOT ION *Company must undertake extensive promotional activities like advertisements must be released in different Medias to create brand awareness. *Free samples should be distributed among the prospects. Sales promotion tools like gifts, contests and coupons must be given to retailers as well as customers and prospects. * Catalogues should be distributed among customer. 4. PRICE * Price should be as competitive as other company maintains. * Distribution of new connection should be in reach of customer pocket. INVESTMENT IN INDIA? WHY NOT!! Yes, the political situation in India is very delicate and fragile. Lobbying is illegal and a necessary evil. India has the lowest ARPU and cut throat competition. But we shouldnt forget this lucrative market because of these following reasons: Second most populous country in the world with overall disposable income per person at $1,326 annual. An upcoming younger generation eager to get their hands on a Smartphone (an estimated $18 billion dollar market in next 2 years we pioneered with Apple and introduced I-phone to the world, a similar wind in India could add at least give us $6 billion of that share.) We are known leaders in the telecom equipment manufacturing; India relies on the imports of the telecom equipment. By setting up a production plant we can bank on to capturing at least $4 billion of the $6.5 billion equipment market in India. Our strong financials and global presence can help us manage our losses for first five years as we catch on with the competition and dig in for the long haul. (With the full

nationwide thrust we are expecting to incur $656 million in losses in the first year with an increment of 12.8% every other year). Losses would be generated into profits by eliminating local carriers and capitalizing on the vast untapped rural network. Losses would also include getting spectrum licenses in all circles thus setting up our infrastructure (cell towers, OFN). We wouldnt have to pay hefty interconnectivity charges to any carriers except BSNL. This would help us on saving on operational costs. Indias growing economy needs more faster network, we are leaders in innovation and pioneers in establishing new technology through time place tested measures. Our overall global assets @ $110.89 billion would come in handy in the Indian Market.