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Friday 10 February 2012

Telecom War Ahead!

Telecom War Ahead!

MTS India launches Zero Paisa scheme to make unlimited MTS to MTS local and national calls

Trai may intervene over telecom tariffs!

Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, chapter 741

Palash Biswas

Post-Supreme Court verdict that cancelled 122 2G licences, the telecom battle has shifted to the diplomatic level with global firmsTelenor and Sistema seeking the government intervention to safeguard their investments.Norway's Telenor ASA plans to fight an order by India'sSupreme Court to cancel 22 telecoms licences held by its Indian joint venture, but has not ruled out abandoning the country altogether, the head of the company's Asian operations said.

On August 28, 2007, the telecom regulator Trai recommended that the determination of market price in the allocation of spectrum is after payment of entry fee and grant of licence. With the unprecedented growth of telecom sector, the entry fee for licence needs to be reassessed via a market mechanism.

Read economic times!

The Supreme Court, in a writ petition of 2010, has said that Trai shall make fresh recommendations for grant of licence and allocation of spectrum in 2G band, as was done for allocation of spectrum in 3G band. The apex court's order deserves to be very carefully implemented in order to dispel any regulatory uncertainty.
The telecom department has to finalise Trai's recommendation of 2005 and 2010-11, separating grant of licence from spectrum. The determination to grant licence has to be ensured as regulation says that government shall seek Trai's recommendation on the "need and timing of the new service provider and terms and conditions of licence to service provider".

It is an opportunity for constructive consolidation of telecom service providers. The process of spectrum allocation should be handled carefully as it will have a bearing on the new spectrum to be allocated and also on the price of additional spectrum presently with incumbents, as identified by Trai.

It has to be structured as a hybrid model where revenue contribution by licence holders to the government is both as one-time payment and periodic payment of revenue linked with the earnings as spectrum usage charge. This is critical to moderate irrational results from auction only.

The auction procedure also needs tobe fine-tuned with a market-related mechanism to ensure a level playing field for all service providers. As the allocation of spectrum to service providers in India is in a small tranche of spectrum quantity, licence holders would require repeat allocation after having peaked the subscribers against allotted spectrum.

Any concept of auction-based allocation will hurt if incumbents are not assured of adequate spectrum. Therefore, the market-related process along with robust spectrum usage charge would be an ideal option.

Hope TRAI will take our view on new 2G auction norms: Uninor

Hindustan Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
PTI Mobile services provider Uninor, which has been adversely affected by a Supreme Court verdict cancelling 122 telecom licences, today expressed the hope that sector regulator TRAI will take its views into consideration before finalising guidelines ...

Hope Trai will take our views on 2G spectrum auction: Uninor

Livemint - ‎4 hours ago‎
PTI Hyderabad: Mobile services provider Uninor, which has been hit by the Supreme Court verdict cancelling 122 telecom licences, on Thursday expressed the hope that sectoral regulator Trai will consider its views before finalising guidelines for the 2G ...

Is auction the only way to allocate spectrum?

Economic Times - ‎11 hours ago‎
On August 28, 2007, the telecom regulator Trai recommended that the determination of market price in the allocation of spectrum is after payment of entry fee and grant of licence. With the unprecedented growth of telecom sector, the entry fee for ...

DoT favours open auction of vacated 2G spectrum

Business Standard - ‎Feb 8, 2012‎
In a move that could pave the way for open auction of the 2G spectrum released from 122 cancelled operators, a draft Cabinet note prepared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has recommended the spectrum price be discovered through an auction ...

TRAI paper on mobile tariff forbearance is dichotomous:Bharti

Economic Times - ‎Feb 8, 2012‎
NEW DELHI: Perturbed by telecom regulator Trai seeking comments on tariffs, leading player Bharti Airtel today said the move to fix mobile tariff is "confusing" and "dichotomous". "Well, I think it is confusing and dichotomous.

India's 2G ruling may stir hornets' nest

Reuters India - ‎Feb 8, 2012‎
By Jeff Glekin | MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - India's judiciary is making its presence felt in the fight against corruption and crony capitalism. The Supreme Court's ruling in the 2G telecoms scam will change the way all state assets are sold in ...

India regulator to review mobile phone rates

ZDNet Asia - ‎Feb 7, 2012‎
By Liau Yun Qing , ZDNet Asia on February 8, 2012 (18 hours ago) Country's telecom regulator seeks feedback from operators in view of expected rise in mobile phone rates and data usage. India's telecoms regulator will be reviewing the country's mobile ...

Auction need not be the best way: Rajan S Mathews

Economic Times - ‎Feb 7, 2012‎
All interpretation is contextual. So, the proposition that all future spectrum grants should be allocated and priced in a market-oriented, auction-based method, must be seen in the context of what is happening in India today.

Trai mulls ceiling on mobile call charges

India Today - ‎Feb 7, 2012‎
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is considering a proposal to introduce a ceiling on tariffs for mobile phones as it is worried that telcos could go in for a sharp hike in charges after the Supreme Court verdict cancelling 123 licences.

Trai may intervene over telecom tariffs

Livemint - ‎Feb 6, 2012‎
New Delhi: India's telecom regulator has indicated it may have to intervene if telecom operators decide to increase tariffs. "Over the last few years, the telecom tariffs were on a declining trend. However, recent trends as well as reports from the ...
All 18 related articles »

Accordingly, Norway's Information Technology Minister Rigmor Aasrudwas in Delhi on Monday and sought an appointment with her Indian counterpart, Kapil Sibal. Government sources said the visit was pre-scheduled. "She has sought an appointment with Kapil Sibal. We do not have any information on when this meeting is taking place," official sources said.

Norwegian government is the largest shareholder in Telenor, the company that is in a JV with Unitech set up Uninor, whose license too was scrapped.The company has reportedly said they will participate in 2Gspectrum auction but have also not ruled out the exit option from the Indian market.

Official sources said, like Norway, India is wedded to the rule of law. "This decision (to scrap licenses) is the outcome of a legal process. We hope our Norwegian friends would appreciate that," official sources said.

Diplomatic sources said, Russia and another countries affected by the ruling has "so far not raised the issue through the diplomatic channel."

"But we believe the Russian authorities are exploring legal options and soon be taking some measures," sources insisted.

The Russian Federation owns less than 20% in Sistema Shyam, which lost its licences in all regions except Rajasthan.

A prosecution witness in 2Gspectrum case was on Thursday accused by CBI in a Delhi court ofresiling from his statement to save the three Reliance ADA Group officials who are facing trial in the case.

Nilesh Doshi, a chartered accountant, was accused by CBI of making a "false statement" as a witness in the court to save the company's top executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair who have been chargesheeted for criminal conspiracy and other penal offences in the 2G scam.

"You (witness) are working with the Reliance ADA Group and you know Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair (Reliance ADA group officials) well and so you are making a false statement in the court to save them," CBI prosecutor AK Singh said before Special CBI judge OP Saini.

When CBI was stating that Doshi was retracting from his earlier statement, the judge asked him whether he was under any pressure or threat.

Doshi said he was not under "any pressure or coercion" and making his statement "voluntarily" and on his own "free will", which was taken on record by the court.

"The witness apparently appears to be making his statement freely and without any pressure or coercion," the court noted.

The chartered accountant, however, rejected the prosecutor's contention saying "it is wrong to suggest that I have resiled from my statement for saving Surendra Pipara, Gautam Doshi and Hari Nair from legal punishment, they being my colleagues."

During the recording of statement, the CBI prosecutor was allowed by the court to cross examine Doshi after the witness said that he would not be in a position to identify the signatures of Gautam Doshi, Pipara and Nair.

Norway's Telenor ASA plans to fight an order by the Supreme Court to cancel 22 telecoms licences held by its Indian joint venture, but has not ruled out abandoning the country altogether, the head of the company's Asian operations said.

Telenor has been "unfairly harmed" by the order, Sigve Brekke told a news conference on Monday. Legal options for the company include seeking a review of the court ruling, he said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that all 122 licences issued under a scandal-tainted 2008 sale be revoked within four months and asked the industry regulator to propose rules for an auction of licences and spectrum.
Telenor began business in India later that year when it bought a majority stake in a nascent mobile phone operator founded by Indian real estate company Unitech Ltd.

"We have been asked to lose all (our investments) just because India in hindsight has changed its mind. Is that fair?," Brekke said.

"I am angry and upset, because it's very clear that we are unfairly harmed," Brekke said, adding Telenor is exploring diplomatic as well as legal options to resolve the issue.

Norway's minister for information technology, Rigmor Aasrud, separately told reporters in New Delhi she would speak to Indian authorities about "fair treatment, transparency and stable long-term possibilities" for Norwegian companies.

Telenor's joint venture with Unitech, which operates under the Uninor brand, has been among the most aggressive of India's newer telecoms companies. It has close to 40 million customers, or more than 4 percent of the market.

Telenor has said it will write down 4.2 billion crowns related to its Indian operations.

Several Telenor investors have said the company should abandon India in the wake of the ruling, citing what they believe are weak prospects for the business.

Fierce competition
India is the world's second-largest cellular market by subscribers, with 894 million at the end of December, although fierce competition means call rates are among the lowest.

"Of course exit is also an option," Brekke said. "Because if this does not work out, if there is no way we can make sense out of this, of course we need to look at exit as an option."

Telenor Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas told last week Telenor had spent about two-thirds of the total planned investment of $3 billion in Asia's third-largest economy.

Telenor shares were down 0.9 per cent on Monday morning compared with a 0.1 per cent drop in the European telecom sector.

The companies whose licences were cancelled have the right to bid in a auction to regain the licences and radio airwaves.

The Supreme Court ordered the telecoms regulator to come up with rules to auction the spectrum within four months.

Brekke said Telenor would decide on whether to bid in the auction after reviewing the criteria and reserve price.

Only companies that lost the licences granted in 2008 should be allowed to bid, he said.

"Of course we'll do our best to participate in an auction," he said, but added that Telenor would not "blindly" bid regardless of the rules and the base price.

Telenor, majority-owned by the Norwegian government, has said Norway is monitoring the situation in India and would help the company find a solution to protect its investments.

Brekke said Telenor's Indian operations would keep expanding over the next four months "as if nothing has happened".

"We are not dead yet. We are not even sick yet," he said.

Exports record 10% growth

2012-13 to be a difficult year: Commerce Secretary. »

Tardy growth in direct tax collections

CBDT goes all out to make good the target shortfall in the remaining months »

Emirati telecommunications firm Etisalat says it is taking an $829 million hit to its earnings to account for Indian operations stung by a recent court ruling.

India's top court last week ordered the government to cancel 122 licenses granted to companies during a scandal-tainted 2008 sale of the 2G cell phone spectrum, including India's Swan Telecom.

Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat owns 45 percent of Swan, which has been renamed Etisalat DB.

Etisalat said on Thursday it will take a 3.044 billion dirham ($829 million) impairment charge linked to the fallen value of the Indian unit.

It says the court decision "significantly alters the competitive landscape" in India's telecom market.

Former ISRO chief Nair sold 'space' on the cheap

Last updated at 8:31 PM on 6th February 2012
On the defence: G. Madhavan Nair has defended the deal saying it would have been profitable in the long run for the country
It seems the Antrix-Devas spectrum deal is even cheaper than it was thought so far and would have resulted in a gaping hole in the exchequer if it was allowed to go through.
Even without taking into account the market value of the spectrum - which could run into several thousand crores of rupees - the deal was cash negative for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The deal was officially pegged at $300 million (nearly Rs1,400cr) over a period of 12 years, but a close analysis of the figures provided by ISRO shows that it is not only highly undervalued but would have amounted to giving government subsidy to a lucrative commercial service like mobile multimedia.
According to the agreement Devas Multimedia signed with Antrix in January 2005, together with the option of a second satellite it exercised in June 2007, it paid an upfront capacity reservation fee of Rs58 crore, and was to pay annual lease fee of $9 million (Rs44cr app) per satellite.
Over the lifetime of the two satellites, all this would have totalled $300 million or Rs1,400 crore at current exchange rates.
Now look at what ISRO would have spent to execute the deal.


  • Nair says the Pratyush Sinha panel did not consult him. The report says the panel gave personal hearing to Nair and other scientists. Nair met the panel on Aug 8, 2011 and followed up with a detailed letter on Aug 10
  • Nair says Chaturvedi panel has cleared him. The report says Nair was responsible for approving Devas agreement which had 'major financial and commercial weaknesses' and also for suppressing information about the deal from the cabinet and the Space Commission
  • Nair says all rules relating to transponder lease were followed. The policy says all rules were flouted. Rules did not provide for giving transponders on exclusive
  • basis to one company. The Devas agreement was different as it provided an option for second satellite, penalties for delay and even a visit by Devas officials to ISRO facilities for monitoring

The cost of building GSAT6 satellite, as approved by the cabinet in December 2005, was Rs269 crore. The second satellite GSAT 6A, as approved by the Space Commission, was pegged at Rs147 crore. The launch cost of the two satellites was to be Rs350 crore.
In all, the agency committed to spend Rs766 crore of public money for Devas.
But this is still not the real cost as it does not include costs associated with designing the satellites as well as those for tracking and monitoring the satellites for over 12 years.
In addition, ISRO would have fully borne the risk associated with the launches and other costs like insurance.
'If you add everything up to Rs766 crore meant for satellites and launch vehicles, the actual cost would be several times higher than $300 million. In fact, the agency would have made huge losses on it,' an expert said.
If 70 MHZ that was given to Devas as part of the transponder deal is valued, then the value of the deal turns negative.
The perplexing difference in the cost of GSAT and GSAT6A has been explained in the two reports.
'The cost of GSAT6A was clearly understated at Rs147 crore because it omitted to include insurance, launch and other costs. This raises the question whether this was done to avoid having to seek cabinet approval, which is required beyond Rs150 crore', the Chaturvedi committee has observed.
Adamant: V Narayanasamy said the deal was not cancelled due to media pressure
Patience needed: Sitaram Yechury said an independent inquiry should be initiated to find the truth
Nair has been defending the deal saying it would have resulted in an internal rate of return of over 13 per cent, which he says is good by the space industry standards.
However, as the report points out, this IRR applies only to transponder lease whereas Devas deal was to provide a hybrid service where both space and terrestrial segments were to be used for which ISRO had no policy in place.

Read more:

The long-winding 2G scam and the recent Supreme Court order to cancel 122 licences has claimed its first casualty.Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco), which holds a 42.7% stake in the Indian venture, STel PvtLtd (STel), has agreed to sell its entire holding to its Indian partner Sky City Foundation Ltd for 65.8 million Bahraini dinar ($174.5 million) — the same price that it had paid in May-June, 2009 for acquiring the stake.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who met Norwegian Information Technology Minister Rigmor Aasrud, in New Delhi on Tuesday said the Indian market has a lot of depth and one should not doubt its capability to attract investments.

"The Indian market has a lot of depth and many opportunities and I don't think that anyone should have doubts about this sector that it would not attract any investment," Sibal told mediapersons after the meeting.

India's telecom regulator has indicated it may have to intervene if telecom operators decide to increase tariffs.Telecom operators are looking to increase tariffs to shore up revenues after a debilitating pricing war in 2010

Meanwhile,Sistema Shyam TeleServices (MTS India) has launched MTS Super Zero for its new and existing prepaid voice customers.MTS customers will now be able to make unlimited MTS to MTS local and national calls at a rate as low as Zero Paisa. Furthermore, customers availing Super Zero can also enjoy free local and national recently predicted that new operators will be announcing cost effective schemes to attract new customers. Remember Sistema Shyam's 21 licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court. Does this potentially signal another round of tariff war?

New operators are offering low tariff at a time when telecom operators are showing poor profitability.

"Over the last few years, the telecom tariffs were on a declining trend. However, recent trends as well as reports from the industry and analysts indicate a possible reversal of this trend," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in a statement on Monday. "In this context, Trai has decided to examine the need to review the existing regime of tariff forbearance."
Trai's reference is to the present system that allows operators to set tariffs without the government's interference, except for rural fixed-line services, national roaming services and leased circuits.Livemint reports.

On the other hand,Batelco's exit is the first by a foreign investor after India's Supreme Court on Feb. 2 canceled wireless permits won by 11 companies including STel in a 2008 sale, which is being probed by federal auditors and investigators. The Indian units of Norway's Telenor ASA (TEL) and Emirates Telecommunications Corp., the United Arab Emirates' biggest phone company, are also affected by the cancellation of permits.

"Smaller companies will just want to cut their losses and exit," said Romal Shetty, executive director of the telecommunications division at KPMG's Indian unit. "For large players like Etisalat, it's a catch-22 situation but quitting India will be their last option."

The Supreme Court ruling came 14 months after India's chief auditor said the sale at "unbelievably low" prices may have cost the exchequer as much as $31 billion.

The court asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to recommend the next course of action, which could include an auction for the permits.

'Wait and See'

Foreign investors "will probably wait to see the terms and conditions of the spectrum rebid process" before deciding on a course of action, KPMG's Shetty said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General said in a report submitted on Nov. 16, 2010, that the cut-price, first-come, first-served sale four years ago to ineligible bidders was "arbitrary and lacked transparency." Jailed former telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja, bureaucrats and company officials are facing charges that they conspired to grant permits for personal benefit. All deny wrongdoing.

The court canceled all permits held by Uninor, the venture between Telenor and Unitech Group, which owns India's second- largest developer, and Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt., a partnership between Emirates Telecommunications and DB Group.

It also canceled most permits held by Videocon Telecommunications, Loop Telecom Ltd. and Russian billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov's Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd.

Telenor will look at "all options," including bidding for spectrum licenses canceled by India, before it considers exiting the country, Sigve Brekke, head of the company's Asia operations, said at a press conference in New Delhi on Feb. 6.

Sistema Shyam will contest the court order, according to a Feb. 4 statement.

"A suitable tariff framework for data services is also required to be evolved considering that data usage is becoming more and more popular," Trai added, while seeking comments from stakeholders.

Telecom operators are looking to increase tariffs to shore up revenues after a debilitating pricing war in 2010.

Many analysts predict tariffs will go up by around 30% by the end of the year as telcos try to cut losses and reduce debt, taken largely to pay for costly 3G spectrum in the 2010 auction and for a huge push into loss-making rural markets.

Operators have been looking at increasing tariffs since the middle of last year when Bharti Airtel Ltd, the country's largest telco by subscribers, increased its average tariff to 1.2 paise per second from 1 paisa per second.

"They (telcos) are also being sent a number of penalty notices now, which will obviously affect the balance sheets," a Mumbai-based analyst with a multinational brokerage said on condition of anonymity.

The tariffs, however, are being increased gradually and in a few circles at a time, mainly for prepaid subscribers who make up more than 96% of the mobile subscriber base in India. Most postpaid subscribers were not significantly affected by the tariff war.

In a recent interview, Sigve Brekke, managing director of Uninor, said he was waiting for larger incumbent operators to raise tariffs so his company could follow suit.

The cancellation of 122 telecom licences by the Supreme Court last week is also expected to cause a rise in tariffs, due to the decreased competition.

"Competitive intensity in the sector will reduce, leading to improvement in pricing power for the established players. With the number of operators likely to reduce, incumbent operators will be in a better position to hike tariffs," Crisil Research said in a statement last week after the court verdict. "Moreover, operators who acquire licences under the new process are likely to raise tariffs to cover the higher licence fees. Consequently, telecom tariffs will increase significantly, resulting in improved profitability for the current operators."

Uninor offers calls at as low as 2 paise per minute while Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, which runs the MTS brand, offers calls at half-paisa per second under a special scheme.
The 2010 tariff war is considered to have kicked off by Tata Teleservices Ltd's GSM brand Tata Docomo with a tariff of 1 paisa per second. Till then, the prevailing average tariff for the sector was Rs1 per minute.

MTS has cut tariff from 1paisa/sec to 0.00043paisa/sec. It has also launched special recharge vouchers. Offers are open to new and existing prepaid customers, but applicable only for MTS-to-MTS calls. The new tariff includes national, local calls and SMSes and is effective across all circles.

MTS has said that it wishes to enhance value for customers and focuses to build a stronger MTS community.

Siestema Shyam was among the companies whose licenses were cancelled by the Supreme Court. The company's 21 licenses were cancelled for all India, ex-Rajasthan.

Leading telcos had hiked call tariffs in July 2011. Airtel had indicated stable tariffs till cost per minute reduces. Tariff situation has remained stable since July 2011.

Meanwhile,Higher tax provisions impacted Airtel's net income to nosedive by 22 percent to Rs 1,011 crore in Q3 2011-12 from Rs 1,303 crore in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal.

Bharti Airtel has posted 17.1 percent increase in consolidated income in Q3 FY 2011-12 to Rs 18,477 crore. India and South Asia showed 12.1 percent revenue growth aided by improvement in realization rates. Africa revenues grew 16.1 percent  to  $1.05 billion.

In a short span of time, MTS in India has secured over 15 million wireless subscribers and under the MBlaze brand provides mobile broadband services to more than 1.5 million customers in over 300 cities across the country.
MTS' Super Zero initiative is to suit every pocket with choice of daily, weekly and monthly offerings. MTS prepaid voice customers can avail this offer across India through recharges ranging from Rs.17 up to Rs.147 from a retail network of 1200 branded retail outlets and over 300,000 retail outlets.
"We have specially designed MTS Super Zero to empower our customers with the freedom to talk more and stay connected with their friends and business associates. I am confident that both our new and existing customers will find our Super Zero initiative extremely exciting as it enables them to make calls at as low as Zero Paisa," said Leonid Musatov, chief marketing & sales officer at MTS India.
Sistema Shyam TeleServices nationally operates its telecom services under the MTS brand with over 15 million wireless customers.
The carrier said that the launch of MTS "˜Super Zero' is supported by a 360 degree communication campaign involving above the line and below the line initiatives.
A few days back, MTS India announced a special offer for Mumbai residents to celebrate Valentine's Day. This Valentine's Day, MTS offers a free helicopter ride over the skyline of Mumbai for 10 lucky couples.

Bharti Airtel move to hike tariffs by 20% last year appears to have backfired as the company has registered a 7% decline in the average monthly minutes used per customer to 419 when compared to 449 minutes a year ago. Economic Times reports.

India's largest operator by revenues and profits also saw a mere 0.8% sequential growth in traffic or total minutes carried on its network during the festival season, taking analysts by surprise.

"Idea Cellular had registered a 7% sequential growth during the same period. After the 20% hike it tariffs, we must watch how traffic volumes pan out for Bharti going forward," said Bhavesh Gandhi, telecom analyst, India Infoline According to the telecom head of Mumbai-based brokerage firm, the tariff hikes had not 'led to better times for the company'.

"In the September 2011 quarter, Bharti Airtel had seen de-growth in overall minutes on a sequential basis for the first time despite adding close to 4 million new customers in India. This has not improved in the December quarter," this executive, who declined to be quoted, added.

But Bharti Airtel's chief financial officer B Srikanth blamed higher interest costs and tax provisions for missing analysts estimates and posting a bigger then expected 22% drop in quarterly profit to 1,011 crore, when compared to 1,303 crore a year earlier.

"The average tax rate in India was 25.4% in December 2011 when compared to 14.4% the previous year. The tax outgo increased by 222 crore - the tax concessions on infrastructure in most states is drawing to an end," he said.

An analysis of Bharti's financials also reveals that a sharp increase in selling and administration (SG&A) cost may have contributed significantly to its quarterly profit fall.

Africa provides silver lining

Bharti's Africa operations, acquired from Kuwait's Zain in a $9-billion debt-funded deal in 2010, has provided a silver lining for the company.

Africa, which had been a drag on Bharti's financial has registered its first operating free cash flow in the quarter ended December 2011. Losses narrowed to 260 crore in December 2011 compared to 525 crore a year earlier.

Revenues grew 16% to 5,358 crore. "The peak capex is behind us and we will achieve our fiscal 2013 goals ($5 billion in revenues and $2 billion in EBITDA)," Manoj Kohli, Bharti's chief executive for international operations said.

Vodafone India revenues up

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An increase in the customer base has helped the U.K.-based telecom major Vodafone Group report a 20 per cent growth in its India business revenue to 1.024 billion pounds (963 million pounds) in the quarter ended December 2011. This is against the Vodafone Group's total service revenue growth of 0.9 per cent during the period.
The growth in Vodafone India's service revenue was driven by an increase in customer base, continued growth in incoming and outgoing voice minutes and a 46.4 per cent growth in data revenue.
On December 31, 2011, Vodafone India's data customers totalled 31.2 million and the mobile customer base went up to 147.74 million with a net addition of 2.755 million customers during the quarter.
"Whilst the market remains highly competitive, the effective rate per minute increased slightly compared to Q2 following the penetration of recent price rises into the customer base," the company said.
Following the launch of commercial 3G services in February 2011, 3G was available to Vodafone customers in 683 towns and cities across 20 circles.
Last month, the Vodafone Group got a favourable judgment from the Supreme Court of India with regard to a tax case pertaining to the acquisition of Vodafone India in 2007.

'Spectrum' troubles

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The Apex Court has for now only confined itself to ruling that the tendering process was vitiated.
The Government faces two stiff challenges in giving effect to the Supreme Court's ruling on the tainted 2008 telecom licences. It has to, first of all, correctly interpret whether the Court's order to auction the 2G spectrum released from cancellation of the licences and allow "all eligible persons" to bid would permit keeping out operators who were awarded licences prior to 2008. The argument that enabling incumbent players to bid goes against the very basic objective of enhanced competition implicit in the Government's 2008 decision is disingenuous, to say the least. To read into the Apex Court's expression of "all eligible persons" a narrower meaning than what a plain reading would suggest is an invitation to a fresh bout of litigation, which could derail the bidding process altogether. In any case, such an argument has little merit in today's scenario, where India's total telephone subscriber base of 93 crore as of December already stands divided among 15 players, with none of them having more than 20 per cent market share. In the worst-case scenario of the entire spectrum in the auctions being bagged by the pre-2008 incumbents, there will still be nine operators left, which is good enough to ensure competition. The whole purpose of auction, moreover, is to not just select players through a transparent and fair process, but also to determine the market price of spectrum. Any sale that is restrictive cannot help realise either of these goals.
If it successfully negotiates the first hurdle, it faces another, perhaps an even more challenging one, in implementing the Court's judgement. A natural corollary of the termination of licences granted to companies in 2008 is their virtual extinction, as they would be bereft of the requisite air waves to transmit telecommunication signals. The Apex Court has for now only confined itself to ruling that the tendering process leading up to the award of licences was vitiated by arbitrariness and whimsicality. The culpability of specific individuals or the pecuniary advantages that they may have derived are matters that have not been established with any degree of finality. In the circumstances, the companies whose licences have been quashed will have to be seen as victims of a governmental action resulting in extinguishment of a bundle of rights intrinsic to their business purpose.
Adding to the complication is the presence of a large number of overseas investors such as Telenor, which alone claims to have pumped in over Rs 14,000 crore into its Indian operations. These investments were made after completion of the licence and spectrum awarding process, in which they were not even direct participants. While a Telenor or Sistema should have known the risks of buying into companies that had obtained spectrum through a dubious process, it might still not constitute a prima facie case for revoking licences against crimes they did not themselves commit. At least not until their complicity is established through a valid legal process.
(This article was published on February 8, 2012)
Keywords: Telecom licences, Spectrum, 2G, Supreme court, tendering process

2G spectrum scam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 2G spectrum scandal involved officials in the government of India illegally undercharging mobile telephony companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would use to create 2G subscriptions for cell phones. The shortfall between the money collected and the money which the law mandated to be collected is estimated to be INR176,645 crore (US$39 billion) as valued by Comptroller and Auditor General of India based on 3G and BWA spectrum auction prices which held in 2010.[1] However the exact loss is disputed, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) pegged the loss at INR 30,984.55 crores in its first charge sheet filed on 2 April 2011,[2] whereas Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in a response to CBI's query said that the Govt. has actually gained INR 3,000 crores by selling the spectrum.[3] Kapil Sibal, minister for communications & IT, said in a press conference that there was no loss caused by selling 2G licenses.[4] However in September 2011, CBI argued before the Supreme Court that it was unsafe to read a "no loss" conclusion in the telecom regulator's calculations on irregular spectrum allotment as the methodology adopted admittedly did not take into account the market mechanism.[5] All the speculations of profit, loss and no-loss were put to rest when on 2 February 2012 the Supreme Court of India delivered judgement. The Supreme Court declared the allotment of spectrum as "unconstitutional and arbitrary" and quashed all the 122 licenses issued during tenure of A. Raja, the main accused in the 2G scam case.[6] The court further said that A. Raja "wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer" and "virtually gifted away important national asset".[7]
The issuing of licenses occurred in 2008, but the scam came to public notice when the Indian Income Tax Department was investigating political lobbyist Nira Radia. The government's investigation and the government's reactions to the findings in the investigation were the subject of debate, as were the nature of the Indian media's reactions. Much of the credit of bringing this whole scam into the public light (by pursuing it in the court of law) goes to Subramanian Swamy who is the chief petitioner for this case in the court of law.[8][9]




India is divided into 22 telecoms zones and there are a total 281 zonal licences in the market.[10] In 2008, 122 new 2G spectrum licenses were given to telecom companies at the price of 2001 and on first come first serve basis.[11] The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says that several rules were violated and bribes were paid to favour certain firms while awarding 2G spectrum licenses. The audit report ofComptroller and Auditor General of India says that several licenses were issued to firms with no prior experience in the telecom sector or were ineligible or had suppressed relevant facts.[10] In 2007, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had given its recommendations on pricing of 2G spectrum to A.Raja but he did not place the recommendations before the full Telecom Commission which, among others, would have included the Finance Secretary.[12] In November 2007 Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh had written a letter to telecom minister A. Raja directing him to ensure allotment of 2G spectrum in a fair and transparent manner and to ensure licence fee was properly revised. Raja wrote back to the Prime Minister rejecting many of his recommendations.[13] In the same month "Finance Ministry" wrote letter to "Department of Telecom" raising concerns over the procedure adopted by it[13] but "Department of Telecom" went ahead with its plan of giving 2G licenses. It preponed the cut-off date to 25 September, from 1 October 2007. Later on the same day, DoT posted an announcement on its website saying those who apply between 3.30 and 4.30 pm would be issued licences in accordance with the said policy.[13]Companies like Unitech & Swan Telecom got licenses without any prior telecom experience.[14] Swan Telecom got the license even though it did not meet eligibility criteria.[14] Swan got license for INR 1537 crore and then it sold 45% stake to UAE based company Etisalat for INR 4200 crore.[14] Unitech Wireless, a subsidiary of the Unitech Group, got license for INR 1661 crore and later sold 60% stake for INR 6200 crore to Norway based company Telenor.[14]
Following is the list of companies who got the 122 2G licenses during the tenure of A. Raja as Telecom Minister.[15][16] (The licenses were later quashed by Supreme Court) [17][18]
Name of CompanyTelecom regions for which license was grantedNumber of license grantedRemarks
Adonis Projects Pvt. Ltd.Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East)6Adonis Projects, Nahan Properties, Aska Projects, Volga Properties, Azare Properties & Hudson Properties were acquired by Unitech. Unitech Infrastructure and Unitech Builders & Estates were already subsidiaries of Unitech Group. So in 2008Unitech had 22 2G licenses. Later in the same year Norway based company Telenor bought majority stake in the telecom company from the Unitech Group. Now it offers services underUninor brand holding 22 pan India licences.
Nahan Properties Pvt. Ltd.Assam, Bihar, North East, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh (East), West Bengal6
Aska Projects Ltd.Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka3
Volga Properties Pvt. Ltd.Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra3
Azure Properties Ltd.Kolkata1
Hudson PropertiesDelhi1
Unitech Builders & Estates Pvt. Ltd.Tamil Nadu (including Chennai)1
Unitech Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd.Mumbai1
Loop Telecom Pvt. Ltd. Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal, Pradesh, Kerala, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East 21
Datacom Solutions Pvt. Ltd.Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, North East, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), West Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai 21Operates under brand name Videocon Telecommunications Limited
Shyam Telelink LimitedMadhya Pradesh, Kerala, Kolkata, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, North East 17Shyam Telelink Limited & Shyani Telelink Limited operate together with their combined 21 licenses. During late 2008 Russia based group Sistema bought majority stake in the telecom company and now they operate under brand name MTS India.
Shyani Telelink LimitedMumbai, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh4
Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd.Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Delhi, Mumbai 13In 2008, Swan Telecom merged itself with Allianz Infratech (P) Ltd. During late 2008 Abu Dhabi's Etisalat bought about 45 percent of the company and renamed it to Etisalat DB Telecom
Allianz Infratech (P) Ltd.Bihar, Madhya Pradesh2
Idea Cellular Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, North East, Kolkata, West Bengal, Orissa, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai)9Idea Cellular bought Spice Communications Ltd. in 2008 for an amount of INR 2,700 crore.[19] So out of 122 spectrum licenses sold in 2008 Idea Cellular owns 13 licenses
Spice Communications Ltd. Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra4
S Tel Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa, North East, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh6In January 2009, Bahrain Telecommunications signed a deal withS Tel to buy 49% shares in S Tel for $225 million. C Sivasankaran owns the remaining (51%) share.[20] [21]. In May 2009, Sahara Group bought 11.7% stake in S Tel[22]
Tata Teleservices Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, North East3In late 2008 promoters of Tata Teleservices sold 26% equity stake to a Japanese telecom giant NTT Docomo for about INR13,070 crore ($2.7 billion) or an enterprise value of INR 50,269 crore ($10.38 billion).[23]

[edit]Parties accused of involvement

The selling of the licenses brought attention to three groups of entities – politicians and bureaucrats who had the authority to sell licenses, corporations who were buying the licenses and media professionals who mediated between the politicians and the corporations.

[edit]Politicians accused

Politicians named as accused in the chargesheet filed by CBI in the Special Court and charges framed against them by the Special CBI court.[24][25][26][27]
  • A. Raja :
    • Political career - Political party DMK, 4 times MP, present constituency NilgirisTamil Nadu, former Union Minister of State (Rural Development - 1999), former Union Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare - 2003), former Union Cabinet Minister (Environment & Forests - 2004), former Union Cabinet Minister (Communication and Information Technology - 2007 & 2009)[28][29][30][31]
    • Charges - Criminal breach of trust by a public servant under section 409, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420 & forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting illegal gratification.[24][32][33]
  • M. K. Kanimozhi :
    • Political career - Daughter of 5 time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi. Political party DMK. She is an MP, representing Tamil Nadu in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of Indian Parliament).[34][35]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420 & forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.[24][32]

[edit]Bureaucrats accused

Bureaucrats named as accused in the chargesheet filed by CBI in the Special Court and charges framed against them by the Special CBI court.[24][25][26][27]
  • Siddharth Behura :
    • Designation - Telecom Secretary when licenses were granted.[24][36]
    • Charges - Criminal breach of trust by a public servant under section 409, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420 & forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting illegal gratification.[24][37]
  • RK Chandolia :
    • Designation – Raja's private secretary when licenses were granted.[24][38]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120 B, cheating under section 420 & forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[24]

[edit]Corporate executives accused

Corporates named as accused in the chargesheet filed by CBI in the Special Court and charges framed against them by the Special CBI court.[24][25][26][27]
  • Vinod Goenka :
    • Designation - Promoter and Managing Director, DB Realty & Swan Telecom[24]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120 B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471, fabrication of evidence under section 193. Booked under thePrevention of Corruption Act[24]
  • Shahid Balwa :
    • Designation – Promoter, DB Realty & Swan Telecom[24]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant Criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471 & fabrication of evidence under section 193. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.[24]
  • Asif Balwa (younger brother of Shahid Balwa) :
    • Designation – Director, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables[24]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471 & fabrication of evidence under section 193. Booked under Prevention of Corruption Act[24]
  • Rajiv Agarwal :
    • Designation - Director, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables[24]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471, fabrication of evidence under section 193. Booked under Prevention of Corruption Act[24]
  • Sharath Kumar
    • Designation – Managing Director, Kalaignar TV[24]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471 & fabrication of evidence under section 193. Booked under Prevention of Corruption Act[24]
  • Vikas Saraf :

[edit]Film and entertainment persons accused

  • Karim Morani :
    • Designation - (Promoter of Cineyug Films)[24]
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471, fabrication of evidence under section 193. Booked under thePrevention of Corruption Act[24]

[edit]Corporations accused

Companies named in the chargesheet filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Special court and charges framed against them.[24][26][27][40]
  • Unitech Wireless :
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420 & forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.[24]
  • Reliance Telecom :
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[24]
  • Swan Telecom :
    • Charges - Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy under section 120-B, cheating under section 420, forgery under sections 468 and 471. Booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[24]
Other companies named in the chargesheet are:[41][42][43]
  • Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd
  • Loop Mobile India Ltd
  • Essar Tele Holding
  • Essar (Parent group of Essar Tele Holding)

[edit]Media persons accused

Main article : Radia tapes controversy
Media sources such as OPEN and Outlook reported that two senior journalists Barkha Dutt (Group Editor of NDTV) and Vir Sanghvi (Editorial Director of Hindustan Times) knew that corporate lobbyist Nira Radia was influencing the decisions of appointment of telecom minister. Radia wanted A Raja to be made telecom minister.[44]The two magazines made public the telephone conversations between Nira RadiaBarkha Dutt & Vir Sanghvi.[45][46] Radia's phones were being tapped by Income Tax department. Critics allege that Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi knew about nexus between government and the media industry but still they supported this corrupt activity and suppressed news reporting the discovery of the corrupt practice.[44] However these people were not named as accused in the chargesheet filed by CBI.

[edit]Shortfall of money

A. Raja arranged the sale of the 2G spectrum licenses below their market value. Swan Telecom, a new company with few assets, bought a license for INR1,537 crore (US$338.14 million).[47] Shortly thereafter, the board sold 45% of the company to Etisalat for INR4,200 crore (US$924 million). Similarly, a company formerly invested in real estate and not telecom, the Unitech Group, purchased a license for INR1,661 crore (US$365.42 million) and the company board soon after sold a 60% stake in their wireless division for INR6,200 crore (US$1.36 billion) to Telenor.[47] The nature of the selling of the licenses was that licenses were to be sold at market value, and the fact that the licenses were quickly resold at a huge profit indicates that the selling agents issued the licenses below market value.
The companies which got licenses collectively paid the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology's telecommunications division INR 10,772.[47] The amount of money expected for this licensing by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) was INR 176,000 crore.[48]. CAG is the apex audit body of India,[49] the report on the details of the financials involved framed by CAG could be found at the website of Comptroller and auditor general of India .[50]

[edit]Chronology of events and investigation

  • May 2007: A Raja takes over as Telecom Minister.[51]
  • August 2007: Process of allotment of 2G spectrum for telecom along with Universal Access Service (UAS) Licences initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • 25 September 2007: Telecom Ministry issues press note fixing deadline for application as 1 October 2007.
  • 1 October 2007: DoT receives 575 applications for UAS licences of 46 companies.[52]
  • 2 November 2007: The Prime Minister writes to Raja directing him to ensure allotment of 2G spectrum in a fair and transparent manner and to ensure that licence fee was properly revised. Raja writes back to the Prime Minister rejecting many of his recommendations.
  • 22 November 2007: Finance Ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted by it. Demand for review rejected.
  • 10 January 2008: DoT decides to issue licences on first-come-first-serve basis, preponing the cut-off date to 25 September, from 1 October 2007. Later on the same day, DoT posted an announcement on its website saying those who apply between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm would be issued licences in accordance with the said policy.[53][54]
  • 2008: Swan Telecom, Unitech and Tata Teleservices sell off a part of their stakes at much higher rates to Etisalat, Telenor and DoCoMo, respectively.[55][56][57]
  • 4 May 2009: An NGO Telecom Watchdog files complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the illegalities in the spectrum allocation to Loop Telecom.
  • 19 May 2009: Another complaint was filed to the CVC by Arun Agarwal, highlighting grant of spectrum to Swan Telecom at throwaway prices.
  • 2009: CVC directs CBI to investigate the irregularities in allocation of 2G spectrum.
  • 1 July 2009: Delhi HC holds advancing of cut-off date as illegal on a petition of telecom company S-Tel.[58]
  • 21 October 2009: CBI registers a case and files an FIR against "unknown officers of DoT and unknown private persons/companies under various provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • 22 October 2009: CBI raids DoT offices.[59][60][61]
  • 16 November 2009: CBI seeks details of tapped conversation of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to find out involvement of middlemen in the grant of spectrum to telecom companies.
  • 13 March 2010: SC upholds Delhi HC verdict on cut off date advancement as illegal [62][63]
  • 31 March 2010: CAG says that there was large scale irregularities in the spectrum allocation.
  • 2 April 2010CBI DIG (Investigations) Vineet Agarwal and DG I-T (Investigations) Milap Jain, who were investigating the case, transferred.[64]
  • 6 May 2010: Telephonic conversation between Raja and Niira Radia made public by the media.[65]
  • May, 2010: NGO Centre for Public Interest litigation moves the Delhi High Court seeking investigation into the scam by SIT or CBI.
  • 25 May 2010: Delhi HC dismisses the petition.
  • Aug, 2010: Appeal filed in the Supreme Court against the High Court's order.
  • 18 August 2010: HC refuses to direct the Prime Minister to decide on a complaint by Janata Party chief Swamy seeking sanction to prosecute Raja for his involvement in 2G scam.
  • 13 September 2010: SC asks government, Raja to reply within 10 days to three petitions filed by CPIL and others alleging there was a INR70,000 crore (US$15.4 billion) scam in the grant of telecom licences in 2008.
  • 24 September 2010: Swamy moves SC seeking direction to the PM to sanction prosecution of Raja.
  • 27 September 2010: Enforcement Directorate informs SC of probe against firms suspected to have violated FEMA. Says can't deny or confirm now Raja's involvement in the scam.
  • 8 October 2010: SC asks government to respond to CAG report about the scam.[66]
  • 21 October 2010: Draft reports of CAG placed before the Supreme Court.
  • 29 October 2010: SC pulls up CBI for its tardy progress in the investigations into the scam.[67][68]
  • 10 November 2010: CAG submits report on 2G spectrum to government stating loss of INR176,000 crore (US$38.72 billion) to exchequer.
  • 11 November 2010: DoT files affidavit in SC saying CAG did not have the authority to question the policy decision as per which licence were issued to new players in 2008.
  • 14 November 2010: A Raja resigns as Telecom Minister [69][70]
  • 15 November 2010: Kapil Sibal given additional charge of Telecom Ministry.[71][72]
  • 20 November 2010: Affidavit on behalf of PM filed in Supreme Court. Rejects charge of inaction on Swamy's complaint.[73][74][75]
  • 22 November 2010: CBI tells SC it will file charge sheet in the case within three months.
  • 22 November 2010: CBI tells SC role of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia would be questioned by it.
  • 24 November 2010: SC reserves verdict on Swamy's plea seeking direction to PM for grant of sanction to prosecute Raja.
  • 25 November 2010: SC ticks off CBI for not questioning Raja.
  • 29 November 2010: CBI files status report on 2G spectrum scam probe.
  • 30 November 2010: SC questions CVC P J Thomas's moral right to supervise CBI's probe into 2G spectrum scam as he himself was Telecom Secretary at that point of time.[76]
  • 1 December 2010: SC directs original tapes containing conversation between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and others be handed over to it.
  • 1 December 2010: Raja questions CAG findings in the SC.
  • 2 December 2010: Government places recorded tapes in the SC.
  • 2 December 2010: SC comes down heavily on Raja for bypassing and overruling PM's advice to defer allocation of 2G spectrum by a few days.
  • 8 December 2010: SC favours including in the probe period since 2001 when first-come-first-serve was the norm for spectrum allocation.
  • 8 December 2010: SC asks Centre to consider setting up of a special court to try 2G spectrum scam case.
  • 8 December 2010ED submits report. Says money trail covers 10 countries, including Mauritius.
  • 14 December 2010: Another PIL in SC seeking cancellation of new telecom licences and 2G spectrum allocated during Raja's tenure.
  • 15 December 2010: Swamy files petition in a Delhi court seeking his inclusion as a public prosecutor in 2G spectrum case.
  • 15 December 2010: Swamy mentions in complaint that Raja favoured "ineligible" private companies Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless Ltd in allocating the spectrum.
  • 16 December 2010: SC decides to monitor the CBI inquiry [77][78][79]
  • 4 January 2011: Swamy moves SC seeking cancellation of 2G spectrum licenses.
  • 10 January 2011: Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on the plea seeking cancellation of 2G licenses. Also issues notices to 11 companies which allegedly did not fulfill the roll-out obligations or were ineligible.
  • 30 January 2011: Government's decision to regularise licenses of the companies which failed to meet the deadline for roll-out obligation challenged in the Supreme Court.
  • 2 February 2011: Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura and Raja's former Personal Secretary R K Chandolia arrested and next day they were remanded in CBI custody.
  • 8 February 2011: Raja remanded to two more days of CBI custody. Behura and Chandolia sent to judicial custody.
  • 8 February 2011: Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan Telecom, arrested by CBI.
  • 10 February 2011SC asks CBI to bring under its scanner corporate houses which were beneficiaries of the 2G spectrum. Raja remanded to CBI custody for four more days by a special CBI court along with Balwa.
  • 14 February 2011: Raja's CBI custody extended for three more days. Balwa's custody extended for four days.
  • 17 February 2011: Raja sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody.
  • 18 February 2011: Balwa sent to judicial custody.
  • 24 February 2011CBI tells a Delhi court that Balwa facilitated transaction to Kalaignar TV.
  • 28 February 2011: Raja seeks judicial proceedings through video conferencing stating that he faces threat to life from fellow prisoners.
  • 1 March 2011CBI tells SC that 63 persons are under scanner. Raja allowed by CBI court to appear before it via video-conferencing.
  • 14 March 2011: The Delhi High Court sets up special court to deal exclusively with 2G cases. Balwa also allowed to appear via video-conferencing.
  • 17 March 2011SC reserves order on cancellation of 2G licenses. It rejected companies' claim saying that Principle of Estoppel can't be applied to protect illegality.[80][81]
  • 29 March 2011SC permits CBI to file charge sheet on 2 April instead of 31 March. Two more persons — Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal — arrested.
  • 2 April 2011CBI files its first charge sheet in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.[82][83][84]
  • 25 April 2011: CBI files second charge sheet and court issues summons to Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar and Karim Morani taking cognizance of the charge sheet.[85][86][87]
  • 6 May 2011: Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar appear before court and file bail pleas while Morani sought exemption from appearance on medical ground.[88][89][90]
  • 6 May 2011SC issues contempt notice to Sahara India managing director Subroto Roy and two others for alleged interference in the ongoing ED investigation into the 2G spectrum case.[91][92]
  • 7 May 2011: Special CBI Court reserves order on Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar's bail applications.
  • 14 May 2011: Special CBI Court defers order on their bail pleas for 20 May.
  • 20 May 2011: Special CBI Court rejects bail pleas of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar and orders their forthwith arrest saying that there was a possibility of witnesses being influenced considering the magnitude of the crime.[93][94]
  • 8 June 2011: Delhi HC rejects bail pleas of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar citing that there are certain prima facie evidences against the accused and they may be in a position to influence the 2G probe [95][96]
  • 20 June 2011: SC rejects Kanimozhi's bail plea [97][98][99]
  • 25 July 2011: Arguments on Charge begins. Raja seeks to make Prime Minister and former finance minister P Chidambaram as witness.
  • 26 August 2011: Special CBI court allows Subramanian Swamy to argue his own case (mainly to address the possible loop holes in CBI investigation of the case)[100][101]
  • 30 August 2011ED orders freezing of accounts, attachment of properties worth INR223 crore (US$49.06 million) of five companies mainly related to DB Realty under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) [102][103]
  • Sept 01, 2011ED files status report in Supreme Court, says there have been FEMA violation of INR 10,000 crore[104]
  • 15 September 2011: Swamy pleads before special CBI court that P Chidambaram should be made co-accused[105]
  • 22 September 2011: CBI defends Chidambaram in SC, blames DoT for all wrongs.
  • 26 September 2011: CBI moves plea for framing fresh charge for criminal breach of trust against Raja, Chandolia and Behura.[106][107]
  • 29 September 2011: CBI says role of Anil Ambani being probed, gives a virtual clean chit to Tata and Videocon group.[108][109]
  • 9 October 2011: CBI files FIR against Maran and his brother in Aircel-Maxis deal.[110][111][112]
  • 10 October 2011SC reserves order against Subramanian Swamy's plea for a probe into Home Minister Chidambaram's role in the 2G scam.[113][114] On the same day CBI books former telecom minister and DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and media baronKalanithi Maran[115]
  • 22 October 2011: Special CBI Court finds prima facie evidence to put on trial all 17 accused including Raja on various counts like criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and forgery.[116][117]
  • 3 November 2011: Special CBI court dismisses bail pleas of all the 8 applicants (including Kanimozhi) [118]
  • 8 November 2011: Special CBI court orders CBI to give copy of file on sale of equity by telecom companies (for investigating P Chidambaram's involvement) to Swamy[119][120]
  • 9 November 2011: Delhi HC refuses to grant interim bail to Karim Morani on health grounds wondering Why everybody falls sick once he is in custody? HC issues notice to the CBI on its reply on the bail pleas of the five accused by 1 December.[121][122]
  • 11 November 2011: Trial of the 17 accused begins in Patiala House special CBI court.[123][124]
  • 14 November 2011UPA govt moves SC seeking to restrain Dr Subramanian Swamy from making public allegations against the UPA leadership (especially Home Minister P Chidambaram and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi) in the 2G scam case [125][126]
  • 22 November 2011: The Special CBI court shifts the trial to the Tihar Jail complex following a Delhi high court order [127][128]
  • 23 November 2011SC grants bail to 5 corporate executives – Sanjay Chandra of Unitech Wireless, Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom as well as Reliance Group's Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nayar.[129]
  • 28 November 2011HC grants bail to DMK MP Kanimozhi and 4 others namely Karim Morani, Sharad Kumar and Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal. The court upheld the principle of parity under Section 144 of the Constitution of India that upholds an order passed by theSC.[130][131]
  • 29 November 2011: The special CBI court grants bail to Shahid Balwa citing principle of parity that SC and HC have already granted bail to 10 other accused [132][133]
  • 1 December 2011: The special CBI court grants bail to A. Raja's ex-private secretary R. K. Chandolia and puts additional condition to not visit the DoT without prior permission of the court [134][135]
  • 2 December 2011: Taking a suo motu cognizance, HC stays bail given by trial court to R K Chandolia [136]
  • 7 December 2011SC stays HC's suo motu order against Chandolia's bail [137][138]
  • 8 December 2011: The special CBI court accepts Swamy's plea against Chidambaram to become a witness in his own complaint and examine 2 witnesses, including senior CBI official and senior Finance Ministry official [139][140]
  • 12 December 2011CBI files third charge sheet naming Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia, his son Anshuman Ruia and its director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan (sister of Ravi Ruia) and her husband I P Khaitan. It alsocharge sheets Loop Mobile India Ltd, its subsidiary Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd and Essar Tele Holding.[141][142]
  • 16 December 2011HC rejects bail plea of Siddharth Behura saying "he was the 'perpetrator' of the illegal designs of Raja and would not claim benefit of parity with 10 others released on bail" [143]
  • 2 February 2012: The Supreme court of India cancelled all 122 licenses allotted during A Raja tenure and imposed Rs 5 crore(US$ 1,018,122) fine on Unitech, Swan & Tata Teleservices. It also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, S-Tel, Allianz Infratech and Sistema Shyam Tele Services Ltd. It also asked trial court to decide whether Home Minister P Chidambram should be made co-accused in 2G scam.[144][145]
  • 4 February 2012: The special court of justice O.P Saini dismissed the plea of Subramanian Swamy to make then Finance Minister P.Chidambram as co-accused in the 2G scam.[146]
  • 8 February 2012ED registers money laundering case against DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran for allegedly receiving illegal gratification of about INR 550 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal.[147]
  • 9 February 2012: Essar Group approaches Supreme Court against its trial before Special CBI Court in 2G case.[148] [149]

[edit]License quashed

On 2 February 2012 Supreme Court of India quashed all 122 spectrum licences granted during the tenure of former communications minister A Raja.[150] The allocation of 2G spectrum was described by Supreme Court as "unconstitutional and arbitrary".[151] The bench of Justice GS Singhvi & Justice AK Ganguly imposed fine of INR 5 crore on Unitech Wireless, Swan telecom and Tata Teleservices and INR 50 lakh fine on Loop TelecomS Tel, Allianz Infratech and Sistema Shyam Tele Services Ltd.[152] The Supreme Court's ruling said the current licences will remain in place for four months, in which time the government should decide fresh norms for issuing licences, a lawyer involved in the case said.[153]The apex court said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would submit its report on the 2G scam probe to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).[152]
The Supreme Court said in its order that then telecom minister A. Raja "wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer" and listed seven steps he took to ensure this happened.[152][154] and the seven steps were :
  1. After taking over as telecom minister, Raja directed that all applications received for UAS licences should be kept pending till receipt of the Trai's recommendations.[152][154]
  2. The recommendations made by Trai on 28 August 2007, were not placed before the full Telecom Commission which would have included the finance secretary. The notice of the meeting of the Telecom Commission was not given to any of the non-permanent members though Trai's recommendations for allocation of 2G spectrum had serious financial implications and it was therefore necessary for DoT to take the finance ministry's opinion under the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961.[152][154]
  3. The DoT officers who attended the Telecom Commission meeting held on 10 October 2007, had no choice but to approve Trai's recommendations, since they would otherwise have "incurred" Raja's "wrath".[152][154]
  4. Since Cabinet had approved recommendations made by the Group of Ministers, the DoT had to discuss the issue of spectrum pricing with the finance ministry. But, since Raja knew that the finance secretary had objected to the allocation of 2G spectrum at rates fixed in 2001, he did not consult the finance minister or other officials.[152][154]
  5. Raja brushed aside the law minister's suggestion that the matter should be placed before the empowered group of ministers. Also, within hours of the receipt of the suggestion made by the PM in his letter dated 2 November 2007, that keeping in view the inadequacy of spectrum, transparency and fairness should be maintained in allocation of the spectrum, Raja rejected it saying that it would be unfair, discriminatory, arbitrary and capricious to auction spectrum to new applicants because it would not give them a level-playing field. He also introduced a cut-off date of 25 September 2007, for considering applications though only the previous day a DoT press release had said 1 October 2007, would be the last date. This arbitrary action of Raja "though appears to be innocuous was actually intended to benefit some of the real estate firms who did not have any experience in dealing with telecom services and who had made applications only on 24.9.2007, i.e. one day before the cut-off date fixed by the C&IT minister on his own".[152][154]
  6. The cut-off date of 25 September 2007, decided by Raja on 2 November 2007, was not made public till 10 January 2008, and the first-come-first-served principle followed since 2003 was changed by him at the last moment through a press release dated 10 January 2008. "This enabled some of the applicants, who had access either to the minister or DoT officers, get bank drafts prepared towards performance guarantee of about Rs 1,600 crore".[152][154]
  7. "The manner in which the exercise for grant of LoIs to the applicants was conducted on 10.1.2008 leaves no room for doubt that everything was stage managed to favour those who were able to know in advance change in the implementation of the first-come-first-served policy." As a result, some firms which had submitted applications in 2004 or 2006 were pushed down in the priority and those who had applied between August and September 2007 succeeded.[152][154]

[edit]Telecom companies affected by cancellation of licenses

The table below shows list of companies whose license were cancelled[155][156]
Name of company Parent group Number of licenses cancelled
Uninor Joint venture between Unitech Group of India and Telenor of Norway Unitech Group 22
Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited, now MTS India Joint venture between Shyam group of Indian and Sistema of Russia 21
Loop Mobile formerly BPL Mobile Owned by Khaitan Holding Group 21
Videocon Telecommunications Limited Owned by Videocon group of India 21
Etisalat-DB Joint venture between Swan Telecom of India and Etisalat of UAE 15
Idea Cellular Aditya Birla Groupof India (49.05%), Axiata Group Berhad of Malaysia (15%) & Providence Equity(10.6%)of USA 13
S Tel Joint venture between C Sivasankaran of India and Batelco of Bahrain. After the Supreme Court's decision Batelco sold its 42.7% stake to C Sivasankaran company Sky City Foundation Ltd. for $175 million[157] 6
Tata Teleservices Owned by Tata Group of India 3

[edit]After effects of Supreme Court's verdict

  • Batelco quits India - Batelco, the Bahrain telecommunications company holding 42.7% stake in S Tel declared that it has agreed to sell its entire holding to Indian partner Sky City Foundation Ltd for 65.8 million Bahraini dinar ($174.5 million).[158] [159] [160]

[edit]Response to scam

  • Opposition demands Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) - As soon as the Indian media started citing Comptroller and Auditor General of India's report which pegged the loss at INR 1.76 lakh crore, the Indian opposition parties unanimously demanded formation ofJoint parliamentary committee (JPC) to investigate 2G scam.[161][162] However the Indian government rejected the demand of opposition.[162] Later when the winter session of parliament began on 9 November 2010, opposition again pressed for (JPC) but once again the demand was rejected.[162] The opposition's demand for (JPC) gained further momentum when Comptroller and Auditor General of India's report was tabled in Parliament on 16 November 2011.[163] The opposition blocked parliament proceedings and again pressed for JPC.[164] With Govt again rejecting the demand there was logjam in parliament.[165]Speaker of the Lok SabhaMeira Kumar tried to break the logjam but her efforts didn't bear any fruit.[166] Finally the winter session of parliament concluded on 13 December 2010 . The plan was to introduce 22 new bills, take up 23 pending bills for consideration and passing and withdraw three bills but that didn't happen because the parliament was allowed to function for only 9 hours.[167] In February 2011, after resisting the Opposition demand for over three months, the government finally agreed to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation issue. The government announced it formally on 22 February 2011.[168]
  • CAG issues show-cause notices - In mid November the comptroller Vinod Rai issued show-cause notices to Unitech, S Tel, Loop Mobile, Datacom (Videocon), and Etisalat to respond to his assertion that all of the 85 licenses granted to these companies did not have the up-front capital required at the time of the application and were in other ways illegal.[171] Some media sources have speculated that these companies will receive large fines but not have their licenses revoked, as they are currently providing some consumer service.[171]

[edit]Further reading

  • Swamy, Subramanian (2011). 2G Spectrum Scam. Har-anand Publications Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 9788124116388.

[edit]External links

[edit]See also


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  169. ^ Sathyalaya Ramakrishnan (2 November 2010). "2G Spectrum Scam: Karunanidhi protecting union minister Raja for extraneous reasons- Jayalalithaa charges"Asian Tribune. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  170. ^ "Telecom Minister A Raja resigns"The Indian Express. 14 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  171. a b Joji Thomas Philip (18 November 2010). "2G scam: Govt to pull up five telcos". The Economic TimesThe Times Group.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2G (or 2-G) is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa Oyj) in 1991.[1] Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted; 2G systems were significantly more efficient on the spectrum allowing for far greater mobile phone penetration levels; and 2G introduced data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages.
After 2G was launched, the previous mobile telephone systems were retrospectively dubbed 1G. While radio signals on 1G networks areanalog, radio signals on 2G networks are digital. Both systems use digital signaling to connect the radio towers (which listen to the handsets) to the rest of the telephone system.
2G has been superseded by newer technologies such as 2.5G, 2.75G, 3G, and 4G; however, 2G networks are still used in many parts of the world.



[edit]2G technologies

2G technologies can be divided into TDMA-based and CDMA-based standards depending on the type of multiplexing used. The main 2G standards are:
  • GSM (TDMA-based), originally from Europe but used in almost all countries on all six inhabited continents. Today accounts for over 80% of all subscribers around the world. Over 60 GSM operators are also using CDMA2000 in the 450 MHz frequency band (CDMA450).[2]
  • IS-95 aka cdmaOne (CDMA-based, commonly referred as simply CDMA in the US), used in the Americas and parts of Asia. Today accounts for about 17% of all subscribers globally. Over a dozen CDMA operators have migrated to GSM including operators in Mexico, India, Australia and South Korea.
  • PDC (TDMA-based), used exclusively in Japan
  • iDEN (TDMA-based), proprietary network used by Nextel in the United States and Telus Mobility in Canada
  • IS-136 a.k.a. D-AMPS (TDMA-based, commonly referred as simply 'TDMA' in the US), was once prevalent in the Americas but most have migrated to GSM.
2G services are frequently referred as Personal Communications Service, or PCS, in the United States.

[edit]Capacities, advantages, and disadvantages


Using digital signals between the handsets and the towers increases system capacity in two key ways:
  • Digital voice data can be compressed and multiplexed much more effectively than analog voice encodings through the use of variouscodecs, allowing more calls to be packed into the same amount of radio bandwidth.
  • The digital systems were designed to emit less radio power from the handsets. This meant that cells had to be smaller, so more cells had to be placed in the same amount of space. This was made possible by cell towers and related equipment getting less expensive.


  • The lower power emissions helped address health concerns.
  • Going all-digital allowed for the introduction of digital data services, such as SMS and email.
  • Greatly reduced fraud. With analog systems it was possible to have two or more "cloned" handsets that had the same phone number.
  • Enhanced privacy. A key digital advantage not often mentioned is that digital cellular calls are much harder to eavesdrop on by use ofradio scanners. While the security algorithms used have proved not to be as secure as initially advertised, 2G phones are immensely more private than 1G phones, which have no protection against eavesdropping.


  • In less populous areas, the weaker digital signal may not be sufficient to reach a cell tower. This tends to be a particular problem on 2G systems deployed on higher frequencies, but is mostly not a problem on 2G systems deployed on lower frequencies. National regulations differ greatly among countries which dictate where 2G can be deployed.
  • Analog has a smooth decay curve, digital a jagged steppy one. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Under good conditions, digital will sound better. Under slightly worse conditions, analog will experience static, while digital has occasional dropouts. As conditions worsen, though, digital will start to completely fail, by dropping calls or being unintelligible, while analog slowly gets worse, generally holding a call longer and allowing at least a few words to get through.
  • While digital calls tend to be free of static and background noise, the lossy compression used by the codecs takes a toll; the range of sound that they convey is reduced. You will hear less of the tonality of someone's voice talking on a digital cellphone, but you will hear it more clearly.


2G networks were built mainly for voice services and slow data transmission.
Some protocols, such as EDGE for GSM and 1x-RTT for CDMA2000, are defined as "3G" services (because they are defined in IMT-2000 specification documents), but are considered by the general public to be 2.5G or 2.75G services because they are several times slower than present-day 3G service.

[edit]2.5G (GPRS)

2.5G ("second and a half generation") is used to describe 2G-systems that have implemented a packet-switched domain in addition to the circuit-switched domain. It does not necessarily provide faster services because bundling of timeslots is used for circuit-switched data services (HSCSD) as well.
The first major step in the evolution of GSM networks to 3G occurred with the introduction of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). CDMA2000 networks similarly evolved through the introduction of 1xRTT. The combination of these capabilities came to be known as 2.5G.
GPRS could provide data rates from 56 kbit/s up to 115 kbit/s. It can be used for services such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and for Internet communication services such as email and World Wide Web access. GPRS data transfer is typically charged per megabyte of traffic transferred, while data communication via traditional circuit switching is billed per minute of connection time, independent of whether the user actually is utilizing the capacity or is in an idle state.
1xRTT supports bi-directional (up and downlink) peak data rates up to 153.6 kbit/s, delivering an average user data throughput of 80-100 kbit/s in commercial networks.[3] It can also be used for WAP, SMS & MMS services, as well as Internet access.

[edit]2.75G (EDGE)

GPRS1 networks evolved to EDGE networks with the introduction of 8PSK encoding. Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), or IMT Single Carrier (IMT-SC) is a backward-compatible digital mobile phone technology that allows improved data transmission rates, as an extension on top of standard GSM. EDGE was deployed on GSM networks beginning in 2003—initially by Cingular (now AT&T) in the United States.
EDGE is standardized by 3GPP as part of the GSM family and it is an upgrade that provides a potential three-fold increase in capacity of GSM/GPRS networks. The specification achieves higher data-rates (up to 236.8 kbit/s) by switching to more sophisticated methods of coding (8PSK), within existing GSM timeslots.

[edit]See also


  1. ^ "Radiolinja's History". April 20, 2004. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  2. ^ "CDMA Worldwide". Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  3. ^ "CDMA2000 1X" CDMA Development Group. Retrieved July 31, 2011.

Preceded by
1st Generation (1G)
Mobile Telephony Generations Succeeded by
3rd Generation (3G)
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Communications in India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Republic of India possesses a diversified communications system that links all parts of the country by Internet, telephone, telegraph, radio, and television. The system includes some of the most sophisticated technology in the world and constitutes a foundation for further development of a modern network. India has the world's second-largest mobile phone users with 894 million as of December 2011.[1] It has the world's third-largest Internet users with over 121 million as of December 2011.[2] India has come to be regarded as the world's most competitive and one of the fastest growing telecom markets.[3][4]
The industry is expected to reach a size of INR344,921 crore (US$75.88 billion) by 2012 at a growth rate of over 26 per cent, and generate employment opportunities for about 10 million people during the same period. According to analysts, the sector would create direct employment for 2.8 million people and for 7 million indirectly.[5] The total revenue of the Indian telecom sector grew by 7% to INR283,207 crore (US$62.31 billion) for 2010-11 financial year, while revenues from telecom equipment segment stood at INR117,039 crore (US$25.75 billion).[6]




Telecom in the real sense means the transfer of information between two distant points in space. The popular meaning of telecom always involves electrical signals and as a result, people often exclude postal or any other raw telecommunication methods from its meaning. Therefore, the history of Indian telecom can be started with the introduction of telegraph.


The Indian postal and telecom sectors saw a slow and uneasy start. In 1850, the first experimental electric telegraph line was started between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour. In 1851, it was opened for the use of the British East India Company. The Posts and Telegraphs department occupied a small corner of the Public Works Department,[7] 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 AgraMumbai (then Bombay) through Sindwa Ghats, and Chennai (then Madras) in the south, as well as Ootacamund andBangalore was started in November 1853. Dr.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 of India 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 atCalcuttaBombayMadras and Ahmedabad and the first formal telephone service was established in the country.[8] On the 28th 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", was opened at third floor of the building at 7, Council House Street, with a total of 93 subscribers. Later that year, Bombay also witnessed the opening of a telephone exchange.

[edit]Further milestones and developments

A microwave tower for short distance (~50 km) communication.
While all the major cities and towns in the country were linked with telephones during the British period, the total number of telephones in 1948 numbered only around 80,000. Post independence, growth remained slow because the telephone was seen more as a status symbol rather than being an instrument of utility. The number of telephones grew leisurely to 980,000 in 1971, 2.15 million in 1981 and 5.07 million in 1991, the year economic reforms were initiated in the country.
While certain measures were taken to boost the telecom industry from time to time, (for example introduction of the telex service in Mumbaiin 1953 and commissioning of the first Subscriber trunk dialling route between Delhi and Kanpur and between Lucknow and Kanpur in 1960), the first waves of change were set going by Sam Pitroda in the eighties.[9] The real transformation in scenario came with the announcement of the National Telecom Policy in 1994.[10]

[edit]Modern policies

  • All villages shall receive telecom facilities by the end of 2002.
  • A Communication Convergence Bill introduced in the Parliament on August 31, 2001 is presently before the Standing Committee of Parliament on Telecom and IT.
  • National Long Distance Service (NLD) is opened for unrestricted entry.
  • The International Long Distance Services (ILDS) have been opened to competition.
  • The basic services are open to competition.
  • In addition to the existing three, a fourth cellular operator, one each in four metros and thirteen circles, has been permitted. Cellular operators have been permitted to provide all types of mobile services including voice and non-voice messages, data services and PCOsutilizing any type of network equipment, including circuit and/or package switches that meet certain required standards.
  • Policies allowing private participation have been announced as per the New Telecom Policy (NTP), 1999 in several new services, which include Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) Service, digital Public Mobile Radio Trunked Service (PMRTS) and Voice Mail/ Audiotex/ Unified Messaging Services.
  • Wireless Local Loop (WLL) has been introduced to provide telephone connections in urban, semi-urban and rural areas promptly.
  • Two telecom PSUs, VSNL and HTL have been disinvested.
  • Steps are being taken to fulfill Universal Service Obligation (USO), funding, and administration.
  • A decision to permit Community Phone Service has been announced.
  • Multiple Fixed Service Providers (FSPs) licensing guidelines were announced.
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been allowed to set up International Internet Gateways, both Satellite and Landing stations for submarine optical fiber cables.
  • Two categories of infrastructure providers have been allowed to provide end-to-end bandwidth and dark fiber, right of way, towers, duct space etc.
  • Guidelines have been issued by the Government to open up Internet telephony (IP).

[edit]Emergence as a major player

In 1975, the Department of Telecom (DoT) was separated from Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service. DoT was responsible for telecom services in entire country until 1985 when Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) was carved out of DoT to run the telecom services of Delhi and Mumbai. In 1990s the telecom sector was opened up by the Government for private investment as a part of Liberalisation-Privatization-Globalization policy. Therefore, it became necessary to separate the Government's policy wing from its operations wing. The Government of India corporatised the operations wing of DoT on 1 October 2000 and named it as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Many private operators, such as Reliance CommunicationsTata IndicomVodafoneLoop MobileAirtel,Idea etc., successfully entered the high potential Indian telecom market.


The Indian government was composed of many factions (parties) which had different ideologies. Some of them were willing to throw open the market to foreign players (the centrists) and others wanted the government to regulate infrastructure and restrict the involvement of foreign players. Due to this political background it was very difficult to bring about liberalization in telecommunications. When a bill was in parliament a majority vote had to be passed, and such a majority was difficult to obtain, given to the number of parties having different ideologies.
Liberalization 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. She invited Sam Pitroda a US based Non-resident Indian NRI to set up a Center for Development of Telematics(C-DOT), however the plan failed due to political reasons. During this period, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi, many public sector organizations were set up like the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), VSNL and MTNL. Many technological developments took place in this regime but still foreign players were not allowed to participate in the telecommunications business.[11]
The demand for telephones was ever increasing. It was during this period that the Narsimha Rao-led government introduced the national telecommunications policy [NTP] in 1994 which brought changes in the following areas: ownership, service and regulation of telecommunications infrastructure. They were also successful in establishing joint ventures between state owned telecom companies and international players. But still complete ownership of facilities was restricted only to the government owned organizations. Foreign firms were eligible to 49% of the total stake. The multi-nationals were just involved in technology transfer, and not policy making.[11]
During this period, the World Bank and ITU had advised the Indian Government to liberalize long distance services in order to release the monopoly of the state owned DoT and VSNL; and to enable competition in the long distance carrier business which would help reduce tariff's and better the economy of the country. The Rao run government instead liberalized the local services, taking the opposite political parties into confidence and assuring foreign involvement in the long distance business after 5 years. The country was divided into 20 telecommunication circles for basic telephony and 18 circles for mobile services. These circles were divided into category A, B and C depending on the value of the revenue in each circle. The government threw open the bids to one private company per circle along with government owned DoT per circle. For cellular service two service providers were allowed per circle and a 15 years license was given to each provider. During all these improvements, the government did face oppositions from ITI, DoT, MTNL, VSNL and other labor unions, but they managed to keep away from all the hurdles.[11]
After 1995 the government set up TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) which reduced the interference of Government in deciding tariffs and policy making. The DoT opposed this. The political powers changed in 1999 and the new government under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was more pro-reforms and introduced better liberalization policies. They split DoT in two- one policy maker and the other service provider (DTS) which was later renamed as BSNL. The proposal of raising the stake of foreign investors from 49% to 74% was rejected by the opposite political party and leftist thinkers. Domestic business groups wanted the government to privatize 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.[11]
This was a gateway to many foreign investors to get entry into the Indian Telecom Markets. After March 2000, the government became more liberal in making policies and issuing licenses to private operators. The government further reduced license fees for cellular service providers and increased the allowable stake to 74% for foreign companies. Because of all these factors, the service fees finally reduced and the call costs were cut greatly enabling every common middle class family in India to afford a cell phone. Nearly 32 million handsets were sold in India. The data reveals the real potential for growth of the Indian mobile market.[12]
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.[13] 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 planned to suspend the usage of around 30 million mobile phones (about 8 % of all mobiles in the country) by 30 April.[14] 5–6 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 were taken by regulators and licensors, the total number of mobile subscribers has increased greatly to 881 million subscribers as of October 2011.
India has opted for the use of both the GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code-division multiple access)technologies in the mobile sector. In addition to landline and mobile phones, some of the companies also provide the WLL service. The mobile tariffs in India have also become lowest in the world. A new mobile connection can be activated with a monthly commitment of US$0.15 only. In 2005 alone additions increased to around 2 million per month in the year 2003-04 and 2004-05.[citation needed]
In June 2009, the Government of India banned the import of several mobile phones manufactured in China citing concerns over quality and the lack of IMEI's which make it difficult for authorities in India to track the sale and use of such phones.[15] In April 2010, the Government was also reported to be blocking Indian service providers from purchasing Chinese mobile technology citing concerns that Chinese hackers could compromise the Indian telecommunications network during times of national emergency. A series of attacks on Indian government websitesand computer networks by suspected Chinese hackers has also made Indian regulators suspicious with regards to the import of potentially sensitive equipment from China. The companies reported to be affected by this are Huawei Technologies and ZTE.[16][17][18]

[edit]Regulatory environment

LIRNEasia's Telecommunications Regulatory Environment (TRE) index, which summarizes stakeholders' perception on certain TRE dimensions, provides insight into how conducive the environment is for further development and progress. The most recent survey was conducted in July 2008 in eight Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines. The tool measured seven dimensions: i) market entry; ii) access to scarce resources; iii) interconnection; iv) tariff regulation; v) anti-competitive practices; and vi) universal services; vii) quality of service, for the fixed, mobile and broadband sectors.
The results for India, point out to the fact that the stakeholders perceive the TRE to be most conducive for the mobile sector followed by fixed and then broadband. Other than for Access to Scarce Resources the fixed sector lags behind the mobile sector. The fixed and mobile sectors have the highest scores for Tariff Regulation. Market entry also scores well for the mobile sector as competition is well entrenched with most of the circles with 4-5 mobile service providers. The broadband sector has the lowest score in the aggregate. The low penetration of broadband of mere 3.87 against the policy objective of 9 million at then end of 2007 clearly indicates that the regulatory environment is not very conducive.[19]

[edit]Revenue and growth

The total revenue in the telecom service sector was INR86,720 crore (US$19.1 billion) in 2005-06 as against INR71,674 crore (US$15.8 billion) in 2004-2005, registering a growth of 21%.estimted revenue of FY'2011 is Rs.835 crore (US$ 19 Bn Approx).The total investment in the telecom services sector reached INR200,660 crore (US$44.1 billion) in 2005-06, up from INR178,831 crore (US$39.3 billion) in the previous fiscal.[20]Telecommunication is the lifeline of the rapidly growing Information Technology industry. Internet subscriber base has risen to more than a 121 million in 2011.[21] Out of this 11.47 million were broadband connections. More than a billion people use the Internet globally. Under theBharat Nirman Programme, the Government of India will ensure that 66,822 revenue villages in the country, which have not yet been provided with a Village Public Telephone (VPT), will be connected. However doubts have been raised about what it would mean for the poor in the country.[22]
It is difficult to ascertain fully the employment potential of the telecom sector but the enormity of the opportunities can be gauged from the fact that there were 3.7 million Public Call Offices in December 2005[23] up from 2.3 million in December 2004.
The Total Revenue of Indian Telecom Services company is likely to exceed Rs 200000 Cr ( US$ 44 Bn approx) for FY 11-12 based on FY 10-11 nos and latest quarterly results. These are consolidated nos including foreign operation of Bharti Airtel. The major contributions to this revenue are as follows: Bharti Airtel 65,060 Reliance Comm 31,468 Idea Cellular 16,936 Tata Comm 11,931 MTNL 4,380 TTML 2,248 BSNL 32,045 Voda 18,376 TataTeleservice 9,200 Aircel 7,968 SSTL 600 Uninor 660 Loop 560 Stel 60 HFCL 204 Videocon Telecom 254 DB Etisalat/ Allianz 47 Grand Total Rs 201,997 Crs contributed by Sanjay Banka, FCA



Communications in India
Television broadcast stations (2009)1,400
Radio broadcast stations (1997)800
Fixed lines (2011)33.19 million
Mobile phones (2011)881.40 million
Internet access
Percent household access (total), 20118.5% of households (121 million)
Percent broadband household access1.0% of households (13 million)
Internet Service Providers (2010) 180
country code top-level domain .in
The primary regulator of telecommunications in India is the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It closely regulates all of the industries mentioned below with the exception of newspapers and the Internet service provider industry. The telecommunications industry in India 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 ITDepartment of Telecommunications and Minister of Finance. Since then, most companies gained 2G3G and 4G licenses 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%. 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 dialed first which is then followed by the number (i.e. To call Delhi, 011 would be dialed first followed by the phone number). For international calls, "00" must be dialed first followed by thecountry codearea code and local phone number. The country code for India is 91. Several international fiber-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.
Telephone Subscribers (Wireless and Landline): 914.59 million (October 2011)
Land Lines: 33.19 million (October 2011)
Cell phones: 881.40 million (October 2011)
Monthly Cell phone Addition: 7.79 million (October 2011)
Teledensity: 76.03 % (October 2011)
Projected Teledensity: 1 billion, 84% of population by 2012.[24]

[edit]Mobile Telephones

With a subscriber base of more than 851 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 March 2010 the country had 584 million mobile subscribers, up from 350 million just 15 months earlier. The mobile market was continuing to expand at an annual rate in excess of 40% coming into 2010.
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.[25]The rates are supposed to go down further with new measures to be taken by the Information Ministry.[26] In September 2004, the number of mobile phone connections crossed the number of fixed-line connections 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 881 million subscribers as of October 2011. 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 AirtelReliance InfocommVodafoneIdea 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.[27] India is divided into 22 telecom circles.
A list of states (including the metros Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai in their respective states and excluding National Capital Territory Delhi) with the largest subscriber base as of Mar 03rd 2011 is given below

[edit]Fixed Telephones

Until the New Telecom Policy was announced in 1999, only the Government-owned 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 connections are now also available on demand, even in high density urban areas. India has over 35 million main line customers.


Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 180 (2010)
Internet hosts: 4,536,000;
Internet users: 121 million;
Broadband Internet users: 13 million (October 2011)[28]
Internet access in India is largely provided by the private sector and two state-run companies and is available in a variety of forms, using a variety of technologies, at a wide range of speeds and costs. The country has the world's fourth largest Internet users with over 121 million users (of whom 59% who only access the internet via mobile devices) as of December 2011.[29] However, the Internet penetration in India is one of the lowest in the world and only accounts for 8.4% of the population compared to OECD counties where average penetration rate is over 50%.[2][30] The number of broadband Internet subscribers in India has started to become more significant, having more than doubled in the two-year period to end-2009. DSL, whilst holding slightly more than 75% of the local broadband market, was steadily losing market share to other non-DSL broadband platforms, especially to wireless broadband platforms. The 3G auction was followed by an equally high profile auction of 4G spectrum that set the scene for a competitive and invigorated wireless broadband market.
The growth in number of broadband connections in India has accelerated since 2006. As of October 2011, total broadband Internet connections in India had reached 13 million constituting 1.0% of the population.[28] India has one of the lowest penetrations of broadband connectivity in the world.[31][32]
A number of private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer services in India, many with their own local loop and gateway infrastructures. BSNL and MTNL have continued to dominate the ISP market because of their existing massive copper infrastructure in the last-mile across the nation. An estimated 60% of Internet users were still regularly accessing the Internet via the country's more than 10,000 cybercafes.
According to International Telecommunication Union, the international average broadband speed is at 5.6 Mbps, whereas in India the average speed hoovers at 256 kbit/s which is the minimum speed set by TRAI. The government declared 2007 to be "the year of broadband." Four years later, Indian broadband failed to deliver a download speeds of which other developed nations delivers. South Korea led the list with an average of 43 Mbit/s, followed by Japan (10.6 Mbit/s) and United States (4.6 Mbit/s).[33][34]
India broadband growth is hampered by various challenges, including a complicated tariff structure, metered billing, higher charges for right of way and absence of local-loop unbundling.
FTTB services are currently supplied in Hyderabad by Beam Telecom, offering a variety of plans for home users up to 6 Mbit/s, "power users" up to 20 Mbit/s and enterprises up to 30 Mbit/s. Beam Telecom have also launched fristever FTTH Solution in Hyderabad in three major townships by end of 2010, they have planned to complete FTTH setup in 20 upcoming townships by the end of 2011.
Triple-play FTTH services are due to be launched in 2011 by Hayai Broadband. Services will be offered via an entirely Passive Optical Network, allowing speeds of 100+ Mbit/s to the Internet and 1000+ Mbit/s (1 Gbit/s) within its own network. The coverage area will include most suburbs in Mumbai and the company has announced intentions to spread to other cities and even rural areas. It has coverage ready in the Northern Suburbs of Mumbai based on a UTStarcom platform, however the company expects to replace this with a platform by either Alcatel Lucent or Motorola.


AIR Radio Tower
Radio broadcast stations: AM 153, FM 91, shortwave 68 (1998), Domestica RadioBroadcasting
Radios: 116 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1,400 (of which 82 stations have 1 kW or greater power and 480 stations have less than 1 kW of power) (2009)
Televisions: 110 million (2006)
In India, only the government owned Doordarshan has the license for terrestrial television broadcast. Over the years, Doordarshan services have grown from a single national channel to six national and eleven regional channels.
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 viewership 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, especiallyHindi. 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 (means Till Today, run by theIndia Today group) and STAR NewsCNN-IBNTimes Now, initially run by the NDTV group and their lead anchor, Prannoy Roy (NDTV now has its own channels, NDTV 24x7, NDTV Profit and NDTV India).New Delhi TeleVision.

[edit]Next generation networks

In the Next Generation Networksmultiple access networks can connect customers to a core network based on IP technology. These access networks include fibre optics or coaxial cable networks connected to fixed locations or customers connected through wi-fi as well as to 3G and 4G networks connected to mobile users. As a result, in the future, it would be impossible to identify whether the next generation network is a fixed or mobile network and the wireless access broadband would be used both for fixed and mobile services. It would then be futile to differentiate between fixed and mobile networks – both fixed and mobile users will access services through a single core network. Most telecom companies won 3G and 4G licences in a competitive auction. They have now rolled out their third-generation (3G) mobile services since early 2010, but most companies will officially launch fourth-generation (4G) mobile services based on LTE or Long Term Evolution technology from 2012.
Indian telecom networks are not so intensive as developed country's telecom networks and India's teledensity is low only in rural areas. 670,000 route kilometers (419,000 miles) of optical fibres has been laid in India by the major operators, even in remote areas and the process continues. BSNL alone, has laid optical fibre to 30,000 Telephone Exchanges out of their 36 Exchanges. Keeping in mind the viability of providing services in rural areas, an attractive solution appears to be one which offers multiple service facility at low costs. A rural network based on the extensive optical fibre network, using Internet Protocol and offering a variety of services and the availability of open platforms for service development, viz. the Next Generation Network, appears to be an attractive proposition. Fibre network can be easily converted to Next Generation network and then used for delivering multiple services at cheap cost.


[edit]Submarine cables

  • LOCOM linking Chennai to PenangMalaysia
  • India-UAEcable linking Mumbai to Al Fujayrah, UAE.
  • SEA-ME-WE 2 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 2)
  • SEA-ME-WE 3 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3) - Landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai. Capacity of 960 Gbit/s.
  • SEA-ME-WE 4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4) - Landing sites at Mumbai and Chennai. Capacity of 1.28 Tbit/s.
  • Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG-FEA) with a landing site at Mumbai (2000). Initial design capacity 10 Gbit/s, upgraded in 2002 to 80 Gbit/s, upgraded to over 1 Tbit/s (2005).
  • TIISCS (Tata Indicom India-Singapore Cable System), also known as TIC (Tata Indicom Cable), Chennai to Singapore. Capacity of 5.12 Tbit/s.
  • i2i - Chennai to Singapore. Capacity of 8.4 Tbit/s.
  • SEACOM From Mumbai to the Mediterranean, via South Africa. It currently joins with SEA-ME-WE 4 off the west coast of Spain to carry traffic onward to London (2009). Capacity of 1.28 Tbit/s.
  • I-ME-WE (India-Middle East-Western Europe) with two landing sites at Mumbai (2009). Capacity of 3.84 Tbit/s.
  • EIG (Europe-India Gateway), landing at Mumbai (due Q2 2010).
  • MENA (Middle East North Africa).
  • TGN-Eurasia (Announced) Landing at Mumbai (due 2010?), Capacity of 1.28 Tbit/s
  • TGN-Gulf (Announced) Landing at Mumbai (due 2011?), Capacity Unknown.

[edit]See also


  1. ^ "Highlights of Telecom Subscription Data as on 31st December, 2011"TRAI. 8 October 2011.
  2. a b "Internet Usage in Asia"International Telecommunications Unit: Asian Internet Users. ITU. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  3. ^ Dharmakumar, Rohin (2011-10-19). "India Telcos: Battle of the Titans"Forbes. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  4. ^ Kannan, Shilpa (7 April 2010). "India's 3G licence bidders bank on big changes"BBC News.
  5. ^ "Indian telecom market to be at Rs 344,921 crore by 2012". Economic Times. March 25, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  6. ^ "Telecom sector revenue grows 7% in FY '11"The Hindu. March 21, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  7. ^ "Public Works Department". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  8. ^ Vatsal Goyal, Premraj Suman. "The Indian Telecom Industry". IIM Calcutta.
  9. ^ BSNL
  10. ^ "Indian Government". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  11. a b c d Dash, Kishore. "Veto Players and the Deregulation of State-Owned Enterprises: The Case of Telecommunications in India" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  12. ^ "Draft Information Paper on Dial-up Internet Access" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  13. ^ "GSM, CDMA players maintain subscriber growth momentum-Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times". 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "Govt bans import of Chinese mobiles, dairy products, toys". Times of India. 2009-06-18.
  16. ^ Rhys Blakely (2010-05-10). "India blocks deals with Chinese telecoms companies over cyber-spy fears". London: Times Online.
  17. ^ "China avoids condemning India over Huawei ZTE ban". Economic Times. 2010-05-17.
  18. ^ Mehul Srivastava and Mark Lee. "India Said to Block Orders for China Phone Equipment"Business Week.
  19. ^ Payal Malik. "Telecom Regulatory and Policy Environment in India: Results and Analysis of the 2008 TRE Survey".LIRNEasia.
  20. ^ Press Release no. 60/2006 issued on 28 June 2006 by TRAI
  21. ^ "Is 2012 the year for India's internet?"BBC News. 3 January 2012.
  22. ^ "Hindu Net". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  23. ^ Press Release No. no. 35/2006 issued on 10 April 2006 by TRAI
  24. ^ "India Telecom market growth and subscribers 2010 | GSM and CDMA operators April 2010 data". Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  25. ^ "The death of STD". 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  26. ^ "Free broadband, rent-free landlines likely: Maran". 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  27. ^ "Mobile number portability: Switch tele operator!" January 20, 2011.
  28. a b
  29. ^ "Is 2012 the year for India's internet?". BBC News. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  30. ^ "OECD Broadband Portal"
  31. ^ "India ranks 115th in net connection speed" (doc). Retrieved April 01, 2009.
  32. ^ "Japanese Broadband World's Fastest, Cheapest - Iceland Cools off in Global Broadband Penetration Rankings - US Broadband Penetration Grows to 85.9% Among Active Internet Users - November 2007 Bandwidth Report". 2004-03-24. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  33. ^ "Broadband speeds around the world". BBC News. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  34. ^ "India Seeks Access to the Broadband Highway". Retrieved November 17, 2011.

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