India - Major Telecommunications Operators

Synopsis

The dynamic Indian telecommunications market has one particularly compelling feature – the large number of significant operators. As the market constantly adjusts to the changing pressures and demands, takeovers and mergers ensure that some level of equilibrium is maintained. In the meantime, we have seen significant shifts in market share among the players. Of course it is the country’s booming mobile segment in which the major battles are being fought. Three major private players – Bharti, Reliance and Vodafone - with a formidable 58% share of the market between them coming into 2015 - lead a large field of mobile operators. State-owned enterprises –BSNL and MTNL – had also been making their presence felt with a combined market share of 12%. However, BSNL and MTNL have major financial issues to address, and by early 2015, there market share had dropped to 9%. Although the fixed-line telephony market in India has seen little growth of late (and is in fact shrinking), it remains an important segment of the overall market; the two state-owned operators still deliver the overwhelming majority of fixed-line services.

This report provides details of the major players in India’s telecommunications market. The information offered includes comprehensive set of statistics covering the key areas in which the various telcos operate.

Key developments:

  • despite strong competition, the leading mobile operators in India have managed to hold market share and rankings;
  • in the aftermath of the 2G scandal a number of operators exited the market;
  • licence cancellations and other issues had effectively reduced India’s 15-strong mobile sector to around seven or eight main players coming into 2015;
  • further rationalisation of the market is anticipated;
  • the regulators held a successful re-auction of 2G spectrum in 2014, after two unsuccessful attempts;
  • the government agreed to conciliation talks with Vodafone in their ongoing tax dispute;
  • however, the arbitration was delayed as two of the three-member arbitration panel quit;
  • the telecom minister ruled out the merger of BSNL and MTNL;
  • new player Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI) delayed the launch of its 4G service in end 2015;
  • NTT DoCoMo confirmed that it was exiting its investment in Tata Teleservices.
  • TRAI moved to introduce virtual network operators (VNOs), with a new category of licence;
  • Bharti Airtel cancelled its plans to purchase the assets and subscribers of Loop Mobile;
  • this left Loop in an impossible situation, inevitably exiting the market;
  • Reliance Communications was in talks with Sistema about a potential merger.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Aircel/Dishnet, Bharti Airtel, Loop Mobile (BPL Mobile), Quadrant (HFCL), Idea/Spice, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone Essar, Telewings (Uninor), Videocon, S Tel, Bharti Telenet, Reliance Infocomm, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), Tata Teleservices, Sistema (Shyam Telelink), Swan Telecom, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Data Access, Hughes Telecom, Videocon, AT&T, France Telecom, SingTel, Hathway Cable, Datacom.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Major operators in India
    • 2.1 Market overview
    • 2.2 Unified Access Service Licences (UASL)
    • 2.3 Mergers and acquisitions
    • 2.4 BSNL/MTNL
  • 3. Operator and market statistics
    • 3.1 Mobile market
    • 3.2 Fixed-line market
  • 4. Aircel
    • 4.1.1 Overview
    • 4.1.2 Corporate structure
    • 4.1.3 Background
    • 4.1.4 3G and 4G development
    • 5. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
      • 5.2 Overview
      • 5.3 Mobile business
        • 5.3.1 Overview
        • 5.3.2 Background
        • 5.3.3 Network development
        • 5.3.4 3G development
        • 5.3.5 4G/LTE
      • 5.4 Fixed-line business
        • 5.4.1 Overview
        • 5.4.2 Network development
        • 5.4.3 Background
      • 5.5 Broadband business
        • 5.5.1 Wireless broadband
    • 6. Bharti Airtel
      • 6.1 Overview
      • 6.2 Financials
      • 6.3 Corporate structure
      • 6.4 Mobile business
        • 6.4.1 Overview
        • 6.4.2 Background
        • 6.4.3 3G development
        • 6.4.4 4G / LTE
      • 6.5 Fixed-line and broadband businesses
        • 6.5.1 Overview
        • 6.5.2 Background
      • 6.6 International businesses
        • 6.6.1 Submarine cable operations
        • 6.6.2 Mobile operations
    • 7. Hughes Telecom
    • 8. Idea Cellular
      • 8.1 Overview
      • 8.2 Financials
      • 8.3 Background
      • 8.4 Corporate structure
      • 8.5 3G development
      • 8.6 4G / LTE
    • 9. Loop Mobile
      • 9.1 Overview
      • 9.2 Bharti Airtel’s proposed buy out
      • 9.3 Deactivation of Loop’s network
      • 9.4 Background
    • 10. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
      • 10.1 Overview
      • 10.2 Corporate structure
      • 10.3 Mobile business
        • 10.3.1 Overview
        • 10.3.2 Background
        • 10.3.3 3G development
      • 10.4 Fixed-line and broadband business
    • 11. Quadrant
    • 12. Reliance Communications
      • 12.1 Overview
      • 12.2 Financials
      • 12.3 Corporate structure
      • 12.4 Mobile business
        • 12.4.1 Overview
        • 12.4.2 Background
        • 12.4.3 3G development
      • 12.5 Fixed-line business
      • 12.6 International business
    • 13. Reliance Jio Infocomm
    • 14. Sistema
      • 14.1 Overview
      • 14.2 Mobile business
      • 14.3 Fixed-line business
    • 15. Tata Teleservices
      • 15.1 Overview
      • 15.2 Corporate structure
      • 15.3 Mobile business
        • 15.3.1 Overview and statistics
        • 15.3.2 Background
        • 15.3.3 3G plans
      • 15.4 Fixed-line business
        • 15.4.1 Overview
        • 15.4.2 Network development
      • 15.5 International business: Tata Communications
        • 15.5.1 Overview
        • 15.5.2 Background
    • 16. Telewings (formerly Uninor)
      • 16.1 Overview
      • 16.2 Problems following 2G licence cancellation
    • 17. Videocon
    • 18. Vodafone
      • 18.1 Overview
      • 18.2 Tax dispute
      • 18.3 Financials
      • 18.4 Corporate background
      • 18.5 Operational background
      • 18.6 Strategic development
      • 18.7 3G
      • 18.8 4G / LTE
      • 18.9 Fixed-line business
    • 19. Other operators and service providers
      • 19.1 Mobile operators
        • 19.1.1 Virgin Mobile
        • 19.1.2 Reach mobile
      • 19.2 MVNO market
      • 19.3 Fixed network operators
        • 19.3.1 AT&T
        • 19.3.2 France Telecom
      • 19.4 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
        • 19.4.1 Major ISPs
        • 19.4.2 Internet telephony licences
      • 19.5 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
    • 20. Former operators
      • 20.1 Etisalat DB Telecom (Swan Telecom)
      • 20.2 Spice Telecom
        • 20.2.1 Overview
        • 20.2.2 Corporate structure
        • 20.2.3 Historical development
      • 20.3 S Tel
        • 20.3.1 Overview
    • 21. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Mobile operators and subscribers – 2014
    • Table 2 – Mobile operators - subscribers and annual change – 2013
    • Table 3 – Mobile operators – subscribers and market share – 2014
    • Table 4 – GSM mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2014
    • Table 5 – CDMA mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2014
    • Table 6 –Overall mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2014
    • Table 7 – Mobile ARPU by technology, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2014
    • Table 8 – Mobile ARPU by technology, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2013
    • Table 9 – Mobile ARPU (blended) for selected operators – March 2013
    • Table 10 – Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2010 - 2014
    • Table 11 – Aircel mobile subscribers – 2004 - 2015
    • Table 12 – BSNL mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2014
    • Table 13 – BSNL fixed-line subscribers – 2002; 2012 - 2015
    • Table 14 – Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 15 – Bharti Airtel mobile ARPU – 2004 - 2005; 2007 - 2015
    • Table 16 – Bharti fixed-line subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 17 – Idea Cellular mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 18 – Idea Cellular 3G mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2015
    • Table 19 – Idea Cellular mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2011; 2013 - 2015
    • Table 20 – Historical - Loop Mobile (BPL) mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2014
    • Table 21 – MTNL mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 22 – MTNL fixed-line subscribers – 2004; 2007; 2010 - 2015
    • Table 23 – Quadrant mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 24 – Quadrant fixed-line subscribers – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 25 – Reliance mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 26 – Reliance 3G subscribers – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 27 – Reliance mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2015
    • Table 28 – Reliance fixed-line subscribers – 2005 - 2015
    • Table 29 – Sistema mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 30 – Sistema fixed-line subscribers – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 31 – Tata Teleservices mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 32 – Tata fixed-line subscribers – 2011 - 2015
    • Table 33 – Telewings (formerly Uninor) mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2015
    • Table 34 – Videocon mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 35 – Vodafone mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2015
    • Table 36 – Vodafone 3G mobile subscribers – 2014 - 2015
    • Table 37 – Vodafone - mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2015
    • Table 38 – Vodafone fixed-line subscribers – 2011 - 2015
    • Table 39 – Number of licensed ISPs – 2002 – 2003; 2005; 2008 - 2013
    • Table 40 – ISP market – leading operators, subscribers and market share – 2014
    • Table 41 – VSAT service providers, subscribers and market share – March 2015
    • Table 42 – Historical - Etisalat mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2012
    • Table 43 – Historical - Spice Telecom mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2008
    • Table 44 – Historical - S Tel mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2012
    • Chart 1 - Mobile operators and subscribers - 2013
    • Chart 2 - Mobile operators’ market share by subscribers – 2014
    • Chart 3 – Market share of fixed-line basic services by operator – 2014
    • Chart 4 - ISP market - leading operators, subscribers and market share - 2014
    • Exhibit 1– Fixed-line basic services by operator – 2014
    • Exhibit 2 – Major shareholders in Bharti Airtel – March 2015
    • Exhibit 3 – Bharti Airtel – mobile operations - key statistics
    • Exhibit 4 – Idea Cellular – mobile operations - key statistics
    • Exhibit 5 – Reliance Communications linked with Reliance Industries Ltd
    • Exhibit 6 – Reliance Communications – mobile operations - key statistics
    • Exhibit 7 – Tata Teleservices – mobile operations - key statistics
    • Exhibit 8 – Vodafone – mobile operations - key statistics

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