Telecommunications 2: Indian government data

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Department of Telecommunications: Indian government data

The source of this part of the article

INDIA 2012

A REFERENCE ANNUAL

Compiled by

RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION

PUBLICATIONS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA


The Telecommunication services were introduced in India soon after the invention of telegraphy and telephone. The first Telegraph line between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour was opened for traffic in 1851. By March 1884, telegraph messages could be sent from Agra to Kolkata. By 1900, telegraph and telephone had started serving Indian Railways. As in the case of telegraph, telephone service was also introduced in Kolkata in 1881-82, barely six years after the invention of telephone. The first automatic exchange was commissioned at Shimla in 1913-14 with a capacity of 700 lines.

The telecommunications services have improved significantly since independence with the sector witnessing series of reform measures that included announcement of National Telecom Policy in 1994 that defined certain important objectives, including availability of telephone on demand, provision of world class services at reasonable prices, ensuring India’s emergence as major manufacturing/ export base telecom equipment and universal availability of basic telecom services to all villages. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the independent regulator, was established in 1997 and New Telecom Policy was announced in 1999, which further laid stress on providing an enabling framework for the development of this sector and to facilitate India’s vision of becoming an IT superpower and develop a world class telecom infrastructure in the country.

Since then, Indian telecom sector has come a long way in achieving its dream of providing affordable and effective communication facilities to its citizens. As a result, common man today has access to this most needed facility. Larger efforts are continuously being made to provide universal service to all uncovered areas including rural areas. The other thrust areas include building a modern and efficient telecommunications infrastructure, transforming telecommunications sector to a greater competitive environment with equal opportunities and level playing field for all players, strengthening research and development efforts in the country, achieving efficiency and transparency in spectrum management and enabling Indian telecom companies to become truly global players.

The reform measures coupled with the proactive policies of the Department of Telecommunications have resulted in an unprecedented growth of the telecom sector. Today, the Indian telecommunications network with 846.33 million telephone connections at the end of March, 2011 is the second largest in the world. With its 811.60 million wireless phones at the end of March, 2011, India has the 2nd largest wireless network in the world. India has emerged as a major base for the telecom industry worldwide and it is the endeavor of the Government to facilitate further growth of this vital industry as it is not just the growth of a sector but it has ‘multiplier effect’ on the entire economy.

The structure and composition of telecom growth has undergone a substantial change in terms of mobile versus fixed phones and public-private participation. The growth of wireless services has been phenomenal with wireless subscribers growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.3 per cent per annum since 2004. Today, the wireless subscribers are not only much more than the wireline subscribers in the country, but also increasing at a much faster pace. Wireless phone customer base is growing at the rate of about 19 million per month. The share of wireless phones has increased from 46.54 per cent in March 2004 to 95.90 per cent at the end of March, 2011. Improved affordability of wireless phone has made universal access objective more feasible.

The liberalization efforts of the Government are evident in the growing share of private sector in total telephone connections, which has increased to 85.11 per cent in March, 2011 from a mere 5% in 1999.

Promotion of rural telephony and accessibility of telephones to remote areas is an important thrust area of the Department. It is well recognized that a well spread out provision of telecom services in rural areas enhances the ability of people to participate in the market economy which, in turn, improves their productivity and contributes to their earnings.

At the end of March, 2011, there were 282.29 million phones in rural areas with a teledensity of 33.83% and the strategy for network expansion in rural areas mainly involves provision of phones in the viable areas through market mechanism and through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in the nonviable areas. While Village Public Telephones (VPTs) will enable public access, a scheme of infrastructure sharing scheme Infrastructure Provider (IP) and Universal Service Provider (USPs) has been launched under USOF to create infrastructure in rural and remote areas.

Recognizing the potential of Broadband service in the growth of GDP and creation of an enabling environment for promoting knowledge based society, the Broadband policy announced in October 2004 envisioned covering 20 million broadband subscribers by the end of 2010. The wireless broadband is likely to be the preferred route that many operators adopt in delivering broadband services to the masses of the country. Introduction of BWA services will enhance the penetration as well as growth of broadband subscribers. Wi-Max has also been making headway for penetration of wireless broadband connectivity across all the sectors. The broadband subscriber grew from 0.18 million in 2005-to 6.2 million as on 30th April 2009 and about 11.47 million at the end of February, 2011. Government has decided to provide broadband connectivity to 250000 Panchayats by 2012.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is one of the important sources to meet the requirement of huge funds for rapid network expansion. The FDI policy provides an investor-friendly environment for the growth of the telecom sector. Today, telecom is the third major sector attracting FDI inflows after services and computer software sector. At present, 74 per cent to 100 per cent FDI is permitted for various telecom services. This investment has helped telecom sector to grow. The total FDI equity inflows in telecom sector from April 2000 up to February, 2011 have been Rs. 47,108 crore which is 8% of the total FDI equity inflows in India during the period. The telephone tariffs have declined dramatically over the last two years making the mobile telephone affordable to the common man. The prepaid tariffs have gone as low as 1/2 paise per second.

The auction of 3G and BWA Spectrum have been successfully conducted. This will encourage further expansion of wireless services. In June 2010, the Government allocated 3 blocks of 2x5MHz 3G spectrum each in eighteen service areas, and 4 blocks each in four service areas through auction. In July 2010, the Government has allocated 2 blocks each of 20MHz Broad Band Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in all the twenty-two service areas based on the auction results. The Government realized a sum of Rs.106204.73 crores from these auctions. 3G and BWA spectrum is expected to be the next growth wave in the industry.

Indian telecom industry manufactures a complete range of telecom equipment using state-of-the-art technology. Considering the growth of telecom, there are excellent opportunities to domestic and foreign investors in manufacturing sector.

The five years (2007-12) saw many renowned telecom companies setting up their manufacturing base in India. The production of telecom equipments in value terms is expected to increase from Rs. 5,10,000 million (2009-10) to Rs. 532750 million during 2010-11. The growth of telecom manufacturing industry has largely attributed to the rapidly growing telecom sector. India has potential to emerge as a global hub for telecom manufacturing. There are favourable factors such as policy moves taken by the government, incentive offered, large talent pool in R&D and low labour cost which can provide an impetus to the industry. Exports are also expected to increased from Rs. 81310 million in 2007-2008 to Rs. 142750 million during 2010-11.

NEW HORIZONS FOR FUTURE GROWTH

The explosive growth of the telecom industry in India is being followed by the urge to move towards better technology and the next level of service delivery. While the last 5 years have been transformational for Indian telecom industry, the next few years look even more exciting. One of the key frontiers which would make journey in coming years exciting is the launch of 3 G technology. The government has recently announced guidelines for penetration of 3G telecom services. This will provide a good opportunity for existing operators and also for foreign players to make an entry into the Indian market and bring in new technology and innovations.

MNP allows any subscriber to change his service provider without changing his mobile phone number. With the announcement of guidelines for MNP, telecom service providers will be forced to improve quality of their service to avoid losing subscribers. This can be seen as a maturing element of the Indian telecom industry and a natural step for the industry to go forward.

The mobile value added services include, text of SMS, menu based services, downloading of music or ringtones, mobileTV, videos, streaming, sophisticated mcommerce applications etc. Prior to 2008, a majority of VAS revenues were attributable to SMSs. However, recent trends indicate that this mix is evolving. With greater penetration of new services, availability of relatively inexpensive feature rich handsets and consumer education, VAS other than SMS is gaining importance. It is further expected that over the next few years, non-SMS VAS would become a dominant contributor to VAS revenue.

TELECOM COMMISSION

The Telecom Commission was set up by the Government of India in 1989 with administrative and financial powers of the Government of India to deal with various aspects of Telecommunications. The Commission consists of a Chairman and four full time members who are ex-officio secretaries to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications. Besides there are four part-time members who are the Secretaries to the Government of India of the concemed Departments.

The major functions of the Telecom Commission include policy formulation, review of performance, licensing, wireless spectrum management, administrative monitoring of PSUs, research and development, standardization/validation of equipment and International Relations.

Role of Department of Telecommunications

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is responsible for policy formulation, performance review, monitoring, international cooperation, Research & Development and grant of licences to operators for providing basic and value added services in various cities and telecom circles as per approved policy of the Government. The Department also allocates frequency and manages radio communications in close coordination with the International bodies. It is also responsible for enforcing wireless regulatory measures and monitoring the wireless transmission of all users in the country. A brief description of various services of Department of Telecommunications is given below:

MAJOR POLICY INITIATIVES

Given the central aim of NTP 99 to ensure rapid expansion of tele-density and the objective to transform in a time-bound manner, the telecommunications sector to greater competitive environment in both urban and rural areas providing equal opportunities and level playing field for all players, the Department has taken various Policy Initiatives, as below, which have helped the growth of the Telecom sector, increased competition to benefit the customers to ensure affordable and quality service.

l Decided that there should be no cap on the number of access providers in any service area. 122 new UAS licenes were granted in year 2008 to 17 companies in 22 service areas of the country.

l Permission of use of dual technology spectrum under the same UAS/CMTS licence was granted to 8 companies including BSNL & MTNL. BSNL & MTNL were exempted from the prescribed fee for such usages.

l On 11th July 2008, provision of mobile service within 500 meters of international border within Indian Territory has been permitted.

l Keeping in view the interest of consumers, the Department has decided to introduce Mobile Number Portability (MNP). This will allow subscribers to retain their existing telephone number while switching over from one service provider to another or from one technology to another of the same service provider. This would make the telecom market truly competitive.

GRANT OF LICENSES

Unified Access Services

l There were 241 Unified Access Service (UAS), 2 Basic Service and 38 Cellular Mobile service (CMTS) Licenses as on December 31, 2009.

l Permission for usage of dual technology spectrum (both CDMA and GSM) under the same CMTS/UAS Licence has been granted to 8 companies as on December 31 2009.

MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY (MNP)

Department of Telecom is in the process of introducing Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in India which will allow subscribers to retain their existing telephone number when they switch from one service provider to another or from one technology to another of the same service provider. For the purpose of grant of Licences for MNP service in India, the whole country is divided into 2 MNP zones consisting of 11 service areas each and one licence for MNP service in each MNP zone has been awarded in April 2009 based on tendering process.

MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATOR (MVNO)

The Government has accepted the Recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) dated 6th August, 2008 for introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (mVNOs) Licences in India. The detailed guidelines for grant of MVNO Licence shall be issued by the Department of Telecom shortly.

NATIONAL INTEGRATED DIRECTORY SERVICE (NIDQS)

The Government has accepted the Recommendations of TRAI dated 19th June 2008 regarding introduction of National Integrated Directory Service (NIDQS) Licences in the country. The detailed guidelines for award of NIDQS Licences through open tender shall be issued by DOT shortly.

CARRIER SERVICES

Licensing for National Long Distance (NLD) and International Long Distance (ILD) Service

l After announcing opening up of ILDS and NLDS for free competition, Government has so far issued 24 ILDS licenses and 29 NLDS licenses (including BSNL) as on December 31,2009. The net worth and paid up capital requirement for obtaining NLD and ILD licence by the applicant company is Rs. 2.5 crore each.

l The annual license fee for NLD/ILD has been reduced to 6 per cent (including USO contribution) of Adjusted Gross Revenue w.e.f. January 1, 2006.

l There is no mandatory roll out obligation for NLD operators. For ILD operators, the roll out obligation is the establishment of at least one ILD gateway within a period of three years.

Registration Certificate of Infrastructure Provider Category-I (IP-I)

l Under IP-I registration, Company can provide Dark Fibre, Right of way, duct space, tower etc. to licensed telecom service providers. 288 companies have been registered as Infrastructure Provider Category-I as on December 31,2009.

Voice Mail/Audiotex/Unified Messaging Service '

l New Policy for Voice Mail/Audiotex Service in terms of NTP-99 was announced in July 2001 by incorporating a new service, namely, Unified Messaging Service (UMS). UMS is a system by which voice mail, fax and emails (all the three) can be received by one mailbox using telephone instrument, fax machine, mobile phone, Internet browser, etc.

l There are 20 licences in 7 cities owned by 12 companies as on December 31, 2009 for providing Voice Mail/Audiotex/Unified Messaging Service.

l There is neither entry fee nor licence fee.

Public Mobile Radio Trunk Service Licence

l Policy for Public Mobile Radio Trunk Service (PMRTS) in terms of NTP-99 was announced on November 1, 2001. The new PMRTS licenses shall be granted on non-exclusive ‘‘first come first service’’ basis.

l Presently, there are 55 licences in 4 metros and 16 circles owned by 15 companies for providing Public Mobile Radio Trunking Service.

GMPCS Service Licence

l Policy for grant of licence for Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service (GMPCS) in terms of NTP-99 was announced on November 2, 2001. As on date, there is no licence for providing GMPCS service in India.

One Letter of Intent (LoI) has been issued for GMPCS license to M/s Noida Software Technology Park Limited.

Manufacturing of Telecom Equipment

India has fast emerged as a manufacturing hub as multinational companies look for long term alternatives. As a result of Government policy, progress has been achieved in the manufacturing of telecom equipment in the country. There is a significant telecom equipment manufacturing base in the country and there has been steady growth of the manufacturing sector during the past few years. In the last 5 years, the country’s contribution in mobile devices has been increased from 0 per cent to 6 per cent of the global device production. Several Indian companies in the telecom and electronics industry are creating global scale.

Rising demand for a wide range of telecom equipment, particularly in the area of mobile telecommunication, has provided excellent opportunities to domestic and foreign investors in the manufacturing sector. The last two years saw many renowned telecom companies setting up their manufacturing base in India. Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks have set up their manufacturing plant in Chennai.

Ericsson has set up GSM Radio Base Station Manufacturing Facility in Jaipur. Motorola, Foxcom (OEM) has set up large manufacturing plants in Chennal. Elcoteq has set up handset manufacturing facilities in Bangaluru. LG Electronics has set up plant of manufacturing GSM mobile phones near Pune. Ericsson has launched their R&D Centre in Chennai, Flextorics has set up an SEZ in Chennai. A large number of companies like Alcatel, Cisco have shown interest in setting up their R&D centers in India. With above initiatives, India is expected to be a manufacturing hub for the telecom equipment.

=Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE=)

The increased use of new technologies, the move towards corporatisation, competition and the separation of regulatory functions from operational services require advanced level policy, regulatory, managerial and technological expertise. In order to develop and strengthen the capability to generate this expertise, Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE) have been established in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The seven TCOEs at the premier academic institutes at IITs, IIM Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Science, Bangaluru supported by a major telecom operator have centers have identified important projects in association with the industry and are working to generate a skilled talent pool, cutting edge research, customer centric regulatory framework and innovative business models for rural India with the ultimate vision to extend the education and economic benefits to the poorest of the poor through telecommunications. So far, 70 R&D projects at a cost of about Rs. 16 crore have been taken up in the areas of energy efficeient devices and low backhaul for rural areas, network security, voice mail banking etc. TCOE India has been accepted by International Telecommunication Union as a valuator for its international mobile telephony cards data proposal for 4G network.

The Department of Telecommunications organized an exhibition and conference ‘‘India Telecom 2009’’ in December 2009 at New Delhi with the objective of promoting and showcasing the capabilities and opportunities in the Indian Telecom Sector. The conference brought the Government, policy makers, potential investors, operators, manufactures, infastructure providers, content providers, academia and non-governmental organization together at a common platform to discuss how telecommunications can lead to an ‘‘all inclusive growth’’ of the Indian economy in terms of GDP, growth, employment and revenues, among others. There was also a Special session on Telecom for Inclusive Growth with address by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former-President of India. The exhibition held during the event at Pragati Maidan was also a huge success with more than 200 participants from 28 countries. During the event, there was a CEOs Roundtable with Hon’ble Minister of Communications & IT. The focus of the Roundtable was to have decision makers together at one platform to have concrete discussions on taking the Indian Telecom Sector to the next level and to share Government's vision for the growth of telecom sector particularly in rural areas. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India addressed the participants of the event during the closing ceremony of the event held at Vigyan Bhawan.

WIRELESS PLANNING AND COORDINATION

The Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of the Department of Telecommunications deals with the spectrum management, wireless licensing, frequency assignments, international coordination for spectrum management and administration of India Telegraph Act 1885. (ITA, 1885), for radioicommunication systems and Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933, (IWTA, 1933)

Following Notifications under sub-section (54) of Section 7 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 regarding amendment in Experimental service and Demonstration license were published through Gazette notifications in 2009, i.e..

l The Indian Wireless Telegraphy (Experimental Service) (Amendment) Rules, 2009 were published in Notification No. G.S.:R. 324(E) in Gazette of India dated the 15th May 2009.

l The Indian Wireless Telegraphy (Demonstration License) (Amendment) Rules, 2009 were published in Notification No. G.S.R. 324(E) in Gazette of India dated the 15th May 2009.

The ‘‘Core Group’’ formed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi, convened various meetings for preparation of Guidelines on National Disaster Communication Network (NDCN) within the country wherein WPC wing made significant contribution. NDMA were informed during various Core Group meetings that the current National Frequency Allocation Plan-2008 (NJFAP-2008) document, effective from 1 April 2009, has been developed within the framework of ITU taking into account spectrum requirement of Government as well as private sectors in the fast changing scenario with a view to meeting requirements of new emerging and existing technologies and taking into account the decisions/recommendations of the World Radiocommunication Conferences 2003 & 2007 (WRC-2003 & 2007) of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), etc.

As per NFAP-2008, which is available on WPC Wing’s website, viz. www.wpc.dotgov.in suitable provisions for public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) communications have been made in the current NFAP spectrum policy document to meet the sepctrum requirement for various wireless communication needs during any disater. Relevant IND 73 remark mentioned in the NFAP-2008 document, presently in force has been carved out taking into account the existing International Radio Regulation practices adopted worldwide, which depicts that requirement of public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) communications may be considered, as far as possible, in the frequency bands 380-400 MHz, 406. 1-430 MHz, 440-470 MHz, 746-806 MHz, 806-824/851-869 MHz, 4940-4990 MHz and 5850- 5925 MHz on a case basis depending on specific need and equipment availability.

==Automation of Spectrum Management & Augmentation Monitoring System== The project ‘Design, Supply, Installation & Commissioning' of ‘‘National Radio Spectrum Management & Monitoring System (NRSMMS)’’ is being implemented by the WPC Wing. Under the project, spectrum management and monitoring functions have been automated with a view to making these activities effective and efficient. The NRSMMS has two interrelated components of ‘‘Automated Spectrum Management System (ASMS)’’ and ‘‘National Spectrum Monitoring System (NSMS)’’. ASMS has been completed and is in operation.

After Completion of Operational Acceptance of NRSMMS facilities for 20 fixed sites and 21 V/UHF Mobile stations, excluding SHF parts (fixed & Mobile), on 14 October 2008, Liability Period (DLP) has been started from 15 October 2005.

UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION FUND

The Universal Service Obligation Fund formed by an Act of Parilament is headed by the Administrator USQ Fund, appointed by the Central Government, for the administration of the Fund. He is empowered to formulate procedures for implementation of USO Fund schemes and disbursement of funds from USOF. His office works as an attached office of the Department of Telecom, Ministry of

The Universal Service Support Policy came into effect from 1 April 2002. The guidelines for universal service support policy were issued by DoT and were placed on the DoT website on 27 March 2002. Subsequently, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 was amended giving statutory status to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in December 2003. An ordinance was promulgated on 30 October 2006 as Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Ordinance 2006 to amend the Indian telegraph Act 1885 in order to enable provision of all types of telegraph services in rural and remote areas. Subsequently, Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act 2006 was passed on 29 Septemeber 2006.

RESOURCES FOR USO FUND

The resources for implementation of USO are raised through a Universal Service Levy (USL), which is 5 per cent of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of all Telecom Service Providers except the pure value added service providers like Internet, Voice Mail, E-Mail service providers etc. Annual License fee payable by Basic Telephone Service/UAS Licensees for rural fixed wire-line services in rual areas has been exempted with effect from 1 October 2008. In addition, the Central Government may also give grants and loans. The balance to the credit of the Fund does not lapse at the end of the financial year. Credits to the Fund are being made through Parliamentary approvals.

FUNCTIONS AND OBJECTIVES

The USO Fund was established with the fundamental objective of providing access to ‘Basic’ telegraph services to people in the rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices. Subsequently the scope was widened to provide subsidy support for enabling access to all types of telegraph services including mobile services, broadband connectivity and creation of infrastructure like OFC in rural and remote areas. As per the Rules, the following services shall be supported by the Fund, namely:-

Stream-I: Provision of Public Telecom and Information Services

a) Operation and Maintenance of Village Public Telephone in the revenue villages identified as per census 1991 and installation of village Public Telephones in the additional revenue villages as per Census 2001.

b) Provision of additional rural community phones in areas after achieving the target of one Village Public Telephone in every revenue village.

c) Replacement of Multi Access Radio Relay Technology Village Public Telephone installed before 1st day of April 2002.

Stream-II: Provision of household telephones in rural and remote areas as detemined by the Central Government from time to time.

Stream-III: Creation of infrastructure for provision of Mobile Services in rural and remote areas.

Stream-IV: Provision of Broadband connectivity to villages in a phased manner.

Stream-V: Creation of general infrastructure in rural and remote areas for development of telecommunication facilities.

Stream-VI: Induction of new technological developments in the telecom sector in rural and remote areas.

The implementation of USO releated activities is carried out by the ‘‘eligible operators’’ as per the aforesaid Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules covering Basic Service Operators, Cellular Mobile Service Providers, Unified Access Services Licensees, Infrastructure Providers (IP-I) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These Telecom Service Providers are both public and private sector companies. The implementation status of the activities being undertaken by the USO Fund is available on DoT website www.dot.gov.in.

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has always endeavored to encourage greater competition in the telecom sector together with better quality and affordable prices in order to meet the objectives of New Telecom Policy, 1999. A number of regulations and Directions were issued by TRAI during 2009-10 which inter-alia included the Telecommunication Mobile Number portability Regulation 2009, Telecommunication Mobile Number portability per port transaction charge and dipping charge Regulation, Telecommunication Tariff order 2009, and Direction to Access Service providers on provision of value added services for enhanced transparency with regard to taking explicit consent of customers and preventing accidental subscription to value to Value Added Services, Direction to IPTV providers, direction to all access service providers for submission of their performance Monitoring Report etc. These directions and regulations will help to develop the telecom sector.

In order to protect the interest of the consumers, TRAI has taken steps regarding audit of metering and billing system for bringing uniformity and transparency, prescribing standard relating to accuracy of measurement and reliability of billing etc. The service providers have to furnish the Audit report to TRAI every year, with corrective action taken on inadequacies by the service providers. Besides, TRAI has undertaken activities towards consumer education.

TRAI has also taken steps to ensure the quality of the service provided by the service providers by way of monitoring the performance of Basic and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service on quarterly basis and also point out interconnection (POI) congestion through monthly reports.

The above measures are expected to facilitate orderly growth of telecom sector by promoting healthy competition and enchancing investment efficiency besides protecting interests of consumers.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, 1997 (as amended) provides for the establishment of the TRAI and the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to regulate the telecommunication services, adjudicate disputes, dispose of appeals and to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector, to promote and ensure orderly growth of the telecom sector and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) was created in the year 2000 by the Central Government under the TRAI Act, 1997 to settle and adjudicate disputes involving licensor, service providers and a group of consumers on telecommunication services. In January, 2004 the jurisdiction of TDSAT was extended to include broadcasting and cable services besides telecommunication services. TDSAT exercises appellate jurisdiction over regulations, determinations, orders and directions of the TRAI. It also exercises original jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction of TDSAT is exclusive and its orders can be challenged before Supreme Court of India on points of law only. Statutory appeal does not lie against the interim orders of TDSAT. TDSAT is an expert body and comprises a Chairperson and two Members. The Chairperson happens to be a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India while two Members are the experts in the field of administration/ telecommunications.

TDSAT is not bound by the provisions of Civil Procedure Code. It has formulated its own Procedure (TDSAT Procedures 2005) which is simple and is based on the principles of natural justice. Court fee for filing a petition, appeal and miscellaneous application before TDSAT is Rs. 5000/- Rs. 10,000/- and Rs. 1,000/- respectively.

World over, the disputes in telecom and broadcasting sector are resolved by the regulator or normal courts. However, in India, unique institution in the form of TDSAT exists for speedy settlement and adjudication of disputes on telecom and broadcasting sector. As such, dispute resolution in India is outside the purview of the telecom regulator. Indian model for resolution of disputes has been seen with great interest by various telecom regulator. Indian model for resolution of disputes has been seen with great interest by various telecom regulators across the world as per feed back received during meetings and interaction of Hon’ble Chairperson, Members and officers of TDSAT with representatives of regulatory authorities of different countries.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

C-Dot, an autonomous society under DoT, is carrying out research & development for areas of national importance in Telecommunication. C-DoT is working on various developmental projects like shared Global System of Mobile Communication Radio Access Network (SG-RAN) for rural India, upgradation of legacy switches to Next Generation services for North Eastern region, communication monitoring systems, secure dedicated communication networks, broadband service delivery platforms like Gigabit Passive Optical (GPON) systems. The projects like SG-RAN & GPON are expected to give an impetus to indigenous manufacturing.

The increased use of new technologies, the move towards corporatisation, competition and the separation of regulatory functions from operational services require advanced level of policy, regulatory, managerial and technological expertise. In order to develop and strengthen the capability to generate this expertise, the Telecom Centers of Excellence (TCOE) concept has been established in a Public- Private Partnership (PPP) mode with all stake holders onboard. Apart from application oriented research, the Centers are designed to assist and offer training to both high level decision makers of telecommunication entities to manage sector reforms and to corporate managers for management of networks and services. There will be eight TCOEs at the premier academic institutes of the country with the seven major telecom operators supporting one center each. The spectrum management center is being developed in an autonomous model with the support of an industry consortium. To provide a further boost to our manufacturing and R&D efforts, it has been further decided to set up a Telecom Testing and Security Certification Center (TETC) for communication security, research and monitoring. A large number of companies like Alcatel, Cisco etc. have also set up their research & development (R&D) centers in India.

TELECOM PSUs (public sector undertakings)

MTNL and BSNL are the two premier PSUs under the Department that have thrived to meet the growing requirements of telephones and other related service. MTNL, which was set up mainly to expand the quality telecom network and to raise revenue for developing telecommunication facilities in India’s key metros-Delhi and Mumbai, has taken rapid strides since its formation in 1986, to emerge as India’s leading and one of Asia’s largest telecom operating companies. Besides having a strong financial base, MTNL has achieved a customer base of 8.37 million at the end of December 2009. The company had 768037 broadband customers as on December 31, 2009. The Company has also been in the forefornt of technology induction by converting 100 per cent of its telephone exchange network into the state-of-the-art-digital mode.

The Government of India currently holds 58.25 per cent stake in the company. BSNL formed in October, 2000, is the world’s 7th largest Telecommunications Company providing comprehensive range of telecom services in India-Wireline, CDMA wireless, GSM wireless, Internet, Broadband, Carrier service, MPLS-VPN, VSAT, VolP services, IN Services etc. Within a small span of eight years, it has become the largest public sector service provider in the country serving 90.96 million subscribers including 62.86 million wireless customers in December 2009. Rural telephony is one of the focus areas of BSNL. It has provided Village Public Telephones (VPTs) in 5.63 lakh villages and had 323.27 lakh telephones in the rural areas as on December 31, 2009. BSNL introduced broadband services from January 2005 and had provided 47.30 lakh broadband connections till December 2009.

ITI LIMITED

ITI Limited is India’s pioneering venture in the field of telecommunications since 1948. With state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities spread across six locations and a countrywide network of marketing/service outlets, the Company offers a complete range of telecom products and total solutions covering the whole spectrum of Switching, Transmission, Access and Subscriber Premises equipment. In tune with the technology trend, ITI has embarked on manufacture of mobile infrastructure equipment based on both GSM (Global System for Mobile) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technologies. ITI has also acquired the technology for manufacture of broadband infra equipment and next generation network equipment based on IP technology. ITI has a dedicated Network Systems Unit for carrying out installation and commissioning of equipments, as well as for undertaking turnkey projects and providing value added services. Network Systems Unit has been awarded ISO 9001-2008 standard. ITI has aptly earned recognition as Top Turnkey Services Company in Indian Telecom for four years in the past.

ITI joined the league of world-class vendors of GSM technology with the inauguration of BTS equipment manufacturing facility at its Mankapur and Rae Bareli plants, which opened a new era of indigenous mobile equipment production in the country. During the current year, Company has received a total order of 18 million lines from BSNL, 9 million lines each for West Zone and South Zone and supply of equipment for both orders are under progress. The success of technology upgradation and induction is visible across all units of ITI, which fully conform to ISO-9001:2000 Quality Management System. ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System standard was also successfully implemented at Palakkad, Mankapur (PCB & Hybird Circuits Division) and Bengaluru Plants. Next Generation Soft Switch and STP (Signaling Transfer Point) are slated for production at the Palakkad Plant, which is already producing SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) Cards. The Naini Plant has taken up production of SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) and DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) optical equipment besides DLC (Digital Loop Carrier) equipment.

The Company is also starting the manufacturing of the broadband equipment like WiMAX / WiMAX-CPE and GPON at Rae Bareli plant. The Company is geared to provide all equipment for total network solutions and specific communication needs of Defence forces. The Bangaluru Plant manufacturing the CDMA infra equipment, IFWTs (Integrated Fixed Wireless Terminals) and ADSL-CPE (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line-Customer Premises Equipment) has also set up a state-of-the-art world class Data Centre in Partnership of M/s TRIMAX on revenue sharing model to handle IP Projects for banks/financial sector and other telecom related software.

By deploying its rich telecom expertise and vast infrastructure, the Company is consolidating its diversification into IT and IT-enabled services, acquiring a competitive edge in the convergence market. ITI’s competency in the WAN (wide area networking) segment is reflected through two major projects commissioned successfully for BSNL: Countrywide MLLN (Managed Leased Line Network) and SSTP (Standalone Signal Transfer Point). ITI is one of the agencies selected for preparation of National ID cards.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANTS INDIA LIMITED

On March 10, 1978, Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) was incorporated as a wholly owned Government of India company. The company was set up with the objective of extending the wide ranging Indian telecom expertise to friendly developing countries. On August 1, 1978, the company commenced its business. The company has since then been engaged in adopting world class communication and IT technologies for catering to the total needs of countries mainly in the developing world. The company is establishing itself in the changed Telecom and IT scenario and has diversified into Information and Technology and civil construction sector.

The Mission statement of company is:“To excel and maintain leadership, in providing communication solutions on turnkey basis in telecommunication and information technology service sector globally”.

The objectives are :

  • To provide world-class technology and Indian expertise globally in all fields

of telecommunications and information technology.

  • To sustain, expand and excel in its operations in Overseas/Indian markets by

developing proper marketing strategies.

  • To acquire state-of-the-art technology on a continuous basis and maintain

leadership.

  • To diversify into cyber parks, cyber cities, intelligent buildings, highways and

roads and other civil works.

  • Entering areas of cost-effective network technologies for building new telecom

& IT networks and upgrading legacy networks.

  • Focusing on broadband multimedia convergent service networks.
  • Entering new areas of IT as systems integrator in telecom billing, customer

care, value added services, e-Governance networks and the like.

  • Aggressively promoting O&M contracts abroad in the IT and telecom fields

by utilizing TCIL’s expert technical manpower.

  • Developing telecom & IT training infrastructure in countries abroad.
  • Aggressively participating in SWAN projects in various states.

The success of the telecommunications sector so far had been limited more or less to the urban areas. Over the last few years, however, the Government as well as private players have been making a concentrated attempt to replicate the success achieved in urban areas to the newer markets of rural India. While voice service has traditionally been the key driver for the development of the sector, the industry is now at the threshold of the next big shift and is poised to drive growth through other avenues. Broadband connectivity is likely to open up newer markets while at the same time improve the social and economic conditions of the lower pentrated states. Mobile VAS is expected to benefit all sections of society with relevant content being developed to enhance business, provide financial assistance, and promote education and healthcare for the masses. The relatively newer industries of telecom manufacturing and research and development bring with them a plethora of employment opportunities for all.

While celebrating the success in the telecom sector, the Government recognizes the fact that there is no room for complacency. The Government recognizes the need to take a forward-look approach, based on an appreciation of changing technologies and accelerate structural changes in this sector in line with trends in other countries to ensure that the telecommunication services are not only made available on the scale needed to sustain rapid growth in the economy as a whole but also that the quality and cost of these services come up to the requirements of a modernizing economy.

The Government is now looking forward to achieve the target of 600 million telephone subscribers by the end of Eleventh Plan.

Rural telephoney continues to be thrust area of the Government; it is recognized that provision of affordable telecom services in rural areas enhances the ability of people to participate in market economy, which in turn improves their productivity and contributes to their earning. It is therefore, proposed to achieve rural teledensity of 25 per cent by means of 200 million rural connections at the end of 11th Plan. In view of the present growth, 40 per cent rural teledensity is expected by 2014.

Recognizing the potential of Boardband services in the growth process, it has been proposed in the Eleventh Plan targets to provide the broadband for all secondary and higher secondary schools, all public health care centres and Gram Panchayats. It is also envisaged that internet and broad-band subscribers will increase to 40 million and 20 million, respectively, by 2010.

The Government has a vision to provide telephone connection and broadband facilities on demand across the country and at an affordable price and it strives to achieve the same.

See also

Telecommunications, India: 1

Telecommunications 2: Indian government data

Cell/ Mobile phones: India

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