The Indian Telecom Industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, with net additions nearly hitting the 7 million-mark in May 2007. The total mobile subscriber base stood at 173.5 million subscribers at the end of May 2007. India’s mobile teledensity as a result, with its total population of nearly 1.1bn, stands at just 16%. Thus, there is enough room for growth for all operators.
At the national level, during April- November 2006, a total of 72.29 lakh new telephone lines were added to the switching capacity of telephone exchanges, which was 5.6% higher than the addition of 68.44 lakh lines during the corresponding period of the previous year. The new (net) telephone connections provided during April - December 2006 at 116.03 lakh were 16.7% higher compared to 99.38 lakh connections provided during the same period of previous year. Due to mass surrender of wired phones and preference for cell phones, the performance of the public sector has deteriorated. It had surrendered 15.47 Lakh phones during this period. The private sector has provided 131.50 lakh wired phone connection registering a growth of 27.2%. P During April November 2006, the public private sectors provided 362.27 lakh new (net) Cell phone connections, which was 107.3% more than 174.77 lakh Cell phone connections provided during the corresponding period of the pervious year.
The growth rate in respect of the private sector was 144.4% compared to 26.3% growth achieved by the public sector. Total (fixed plus cellular) phone connections provided by the public and private sectors at 478.30 lakh was 74.5% higher than 274.16 lakh phones provided during the corresponding period of the previous year.
The future growth targets of telecom sector including achieving a telecom subscriber base of 600 million, with 200 million rural telephone connections. And achieving a broadband coverage of 20 million and 40 million internet connections. Similarly, the Working Group on Telecommunications for the Eleventh Plan has projected public sector investment (through BSNL and MTNL) at Rs. 1,21,630 crore over the Eleventh Plan. This was scaled down to Rs. 1, 05, 07.