Telecommunications statistics in India
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India has the fastest growing telecom network in the world with its high population and development potential. Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Uninor, Reliance, Tata DoCoMo, BSNL, Aircel, Tata Indicom, MTNL and Loop Mobile are the major operators in India. However, rural India still lacks strong infrastructure. India's public sector telecom company BSNL is the 7th largest telecom company in world.
Telephony was introduced in India in 1882. The total number of telephones in the country stands at 904.56 million, while the overall teledensity has increased to 73.32% as of 31 October 2013. and the total numbers of mobile phone subscribers have reached 875.48 million as of October 2013. The mobile tele-density had increased to 70.96% in October 2013. In the wireless segment, 4.90 million subscribers were added in October 2013. The wire line segment subscriber base stood at 29.08 million.
Indian telecom operators added a staggering 227.27 million wireless subscribers in the 12 months between March 2010 and March 2011 averaging at 18.94 million subscribers every month. To put this into perspective, China which currently possesses the world's largest telecommunications network added 119.2 million wireless subscribers during the same period - averaging 9.93 million subscribers every month (a little over half the number India was adding every month). So, while India might currently be second to China in the total number of mobile subscribers, India has been adding nearly twice as many subscribers every month until March 2011. Mobile teledensity increased by almost 18.4 percent from March 2010 and March 2011 (49.60% to 67.98%) while wireline subscriber numbers fell by a modest 2.2 million. This frenetic pace of monthly subscriber additions means that the Indian mobile subscriber base has shown a year on year growth of 43.23%. Subscriber number hit a peak in June 2012 but has declined. The decline in telecom user base after June 2012 has been primarily due to the removal of inactive mobile telephone connections by the service providers.
Monthly mobile subscriber additions
The following table illustrates the gradual increase in monthly mobile subscriber additions(in millions) in India since January 2002.
|Year||January||February||March||April||May||June||July||August||September||October||November||December||Annual Additions(in millions)||Average Monthly Additions(in millions)|
- Telephone subscribers (wireless and landline): 933 million (March 2014)
- Land lines: 28.59 million (March 2014)
- Cell phones: 904.51 million (March 2014)
- Monthly cell phone addition: 1.05 million (March 2014)
- Teledensity: 73.32% (Oct 2013)
- Annual cell phone addition: 227.27 million (March 2010 - 2011)
- Telephone system: The telecommunications system in India is the 2nd largest in the world. The country is divided into several zones, called circles (roughly along state boundaries). Government and several private operators run local and long distance telephone services. It was thrown open to private operators in the 1990s. 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.
- Landlines: In India landline service is firstly run by BSNL/MTNL and after there are several other private players too, such as Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices. Landlines are facing stiff competition from mobile telephones. The competition has forced the landline services to become more efficient. The landline network quality has improved and landline connections are now usually available on demand, even in high density urban areas.
- 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 compared to 29.08 million fixed line subscribers. 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. The data reported by service providers indicates that rural India is emerging as the growth driver. Mobile services subscriber base in rural areas increased to 377.73 million in March 2014 from from 374.96 million in February 2014.
- Dialing system: On landlines system, intra circle calls are considered local calls while inter circle are considered long distance calls. Government is now working to integrate the whole country in one telecom circle. For long distance calls, you dial the area code prefixed with a zero (e.g. for Delhi, you would dial 011-XXXX XXXX). For international calls, you would dial "00" or "+" and the country code+area code+number. The country code for India is 91.
- Visitor Location Register(VLR): Out of the total 904.51 million wireless subscribers, 790.87 million were found active in March, 2014. The total active VLR number excludes the CDMA VLR figure of BSNL, as the service provider has not provided the VLR figures corresponding to their total CDMA subscriber base. The proportion of VLR subscribers is 85.01% of the total wireless subscriber base reported by the service providers.
- Internet users: Number of Internet users in India is the 3rd largest in the world next only to China and the United States of America. Though the number of internet users is high, internet penetration is still much lower than most countries across the globe. As per TechCircle reports from Aug 2013, India reported 165 million Internet connections (as of March 2013) of which over 140 million were mobile internet connections.
- Broadband subscribers: Broadband in India is defined as 512kbit/s and above by the government regulator (New definition of Broadband notified on 18 July 2013). Total subscribers were 14.91 million (Oct 2013).
- Internet service providers (ISPs) & hosts: 86,571 (2004) source: CIA World Fact Book
- Country code (Top-level domain): IN
- Radios: 116 million (1997)
Radio broadcast stations: 153- AM (Amplitude Modulation), 91- FM (Frequency Modulation), 68 (1998) - Shortwave
- Televisions: 116,438,938(2011 Census)
In India, only the government owned Doordarshan (Door = Distant = Tele, Darshan == Vision) is allowed to broadcast terrestrial television signals. It initially had one major National channel (also known as DD1) and a Metro channel in some of the larger cities (also known as DD2). Satellite/Cable television took off during the first Gulf War with CNN. There are no regulations against ownership of satellite dish antennas, or operation of cable television systems, which led to an explosion of viewer ship and channels, led by the Star TV group and Zee TV.
Initially restricted to music and entertainment channels, viewership grew, giving rise to several channels in regional languages and many in the official language, Hindi. The main news channels available were CNN and BBC World. In the late 1990s, many current affairs and news channels sprouted, becoming immensely popular because of the alternative viewpoint they offered compared to Doordarshan. Some of the notable ones are Aaj Tak that means Till Today, owned by the India Today group and ABP News, initially run by the NDTV group and their charismatic lead anchor, Prannoy Roy (NDTV now has its own channels, NDTV 24x7, NDTV Profit and NDTV India). Also Sahara (like Sahara Rastriya & some regional channel),Sun network,E nadu India TV & IBN 7(the TV 18 group) are some most popular channel.
Television terrestrial broadcast stations: 562 (of which 82 stations have 1 kW or greater power and 480 stations have less than 1 kW of power) (1997).
- Telecom Subscription Data as of 31 Oct 2013
- Highlights on Telecom Subscription Data as on 31 October 2013
- "Mobile subscribers in China reaches 756 million". Companiesandmarkets.com. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- "China mobile subscriber total rises to 875.6 mln in March". Reuters. 28 April 2011.
- "India's telecom subscriber base rises to 933 million". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "India now third biggest internet user". Hindustan Times. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- Houselisting and Housing Census Data Highlights - 2011
- "India Telecom market growth and subscribers 2010 | GSM and CDMA operators monthly subscriber growth | Wireline Subscribers". Telecomindiaonline.com. Retrieved 2012-06-28.