Telecom Sector in India: A Decadal Profile
The telecommunications sector plays an increasingly important role in the Indian economy. It contributes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generates revenue for the government and creates employment. The report presents the evolution of the telecommunications sector in India in the decade between 2001 and 2011. The total number of telephone subscribers has grown at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 35 per cent in this period. The comparable rates in the 1980s and 1990s were 9 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively. However, the composition of the subscribers shows that mobile subscribers have led the way. The increase in teledensity has mainly been driven by the increase in mobile phones. Demand side factors—ultra low cost of handsets, low tariffs and ultimately the ease of using a phone—as well as supply side factors have made mobiles popular in India. International comparisons show that India has one of the lowest mobile tariffs in the world. The majority of the subscriptions in India are of the prepaid type. Usage statistics also show that Indians talk more on the phone than their international counterparts. Teledensity shows wide regional variations across states. There is widespread variation in broadband availability across regions too.