India - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in India’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the Telecoms Infrastructure, mobile, fixed broadband, and Digital Economy sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Broadband, VoIP
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, wireless);
  • Mobile, broadband forecasts to 2022.

Researcher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- August 2017 (23rd Edition)

Executive Summary

A major shakeout in the Indian mobile market is inevitable

India continues to be one of the fastest growing major telecom markets in the world. It is also one of the largest. Sweeping reforms introduced by successive Indian governments over the last decade have dramatically changed the nature of telecommunications in the country. The Indian government has been proactive in its efforts to transform India into a global telecommunication hub.

A strong increase in the telecom subscribers base has necessitated network expansion covering a wider area, thereby creating a need for significant investment in telecom infrastructure. However the fixed line market in India remains highly underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment continues to expand.

India’s fixed broadband market remains highly under-developed due to the dominance of the mobile platform and in turn by the uptake of mobile broadband. Fixed broadband penetration is expected to grow at a moderate rate over the next five years to 2022 from a very small base.

The digital economy will help the country align to its goals of expanding the wider Indian economy as well as enhancing jobs. Sectors such as communications, including telecoms, IT services, eCommerce, FinTech and electronics manufacturing, are growing at a good pace.

In 2017 India was the fastest growing eCommerce market globally however India will take more than 10 years to reach the level of the US and China markets in online retail.

There are several trends in the Indian online education segment that are contributing to the growth opportunities ahead. These include a continuous need for working professionals to learn new skills as well as the emergence of technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence that  are enabling online education vendors to design customized content.

Video will remain the main driver for online content consumption. Increased uptake of VOD and catch-up TV, short format and original local video content along with high 4G data speeds will drive mobile data consumption.

India’s mobile market dominates the local telecom sector with its large subscriber base and revenue numbers, as well as the huge capital investment by operators. It has continued to be a highly competitive market in which a large number of providers have been battling to increase market share.

India’s mobile market has experienced very strong growth over the last five years. Market penetration is expected to reach over 90% by 2022.

Rather than a focus only on growth in subscribers the market is shifting to value-added. The roll-out of 4G / LTE services is driving significant shift to mobile data services across the country.

Market competition is intensifying in the mobile sector. Significant market consolidation amongst the mobile operators was underway in 2016 and 2017:

There was a very significant drop in ARPU during 2016-17 due to the entry of Jio into the mobile market. The subsequent price war has been intensifying in the mobile sector. A shake-out of the Indian mobile market is inevitable.

Mobile broadband penetration has grown strongly in India over the past few years, driven by a strong and growing mobile subscriber base. Going forward, the adoption of mobile broadband is expected to grow strongly as constraints in India around availability of network, ecosystem and affordability are addressed.

Key developments:

  • The emergence of an affluent middle class is triggering demand for mobile broadband.
  • IoT focus areas will include agriculture, health, transportation, security, automobile, and smart cities.
  • Video will remain the main driver for online content consumption.
  • The digital economy will help the country align to its goals of expanding the wider Indian economy.
  • Fixed broadband penetration is expected to grow at a moderate rate to 2022.
  • Mobile broadband penetration has grown strongly in India.
  • Market competition is intensifying in the mobile sector.
  • Significant market consolidation amongst the mobile operators is underway.
  • A shake-out of the Indian mobile market is inevitable.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Loop Mobile (BPL Mobile), Idea, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Videocon, S Tel, Bharti Telenet, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Teleservices, Sistema (Shyam Telelink), Swan Telecom, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Videocon, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market Overview and Analysis
    • 2.2 Background
    • 2.3 Telecommunications Investment
      • 2.3.1 Foreign investment
      • 2.3.2 Investment in IT infrastructure
      • 2.3.3 Investment in Digital Projects
      • 2.3.4 Rural Projects
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 3.2.1 Ministry for Communications (MoC)
      • 3.2.2 Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
      • 3.2.3 Telecom Commission
      • 3.2.4 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
      • 3.2.5 Telecom Dispute Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)
      • 3.2.6 Communications Commission of India (CCI)
      • 3.2.7 Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)
    • 3.3 Licensing circles
    • 3.4 Licensing – VNO’s
    • 3.5 Net Neutrality
    • 3.6 Access
    • 3.7 Fibre Access
    • 3.8 Regulatory developments
      • 3.8.1 Overview
      • 3.8.2 Regulatory developments - 2015
      • 3.8.3 Regulatory developments - 2014
    • 3.9 Government policies
      • 3.9.1 National Telecom Policies 1999 (NTP-99)
      • 3.9.2 Addendum to NTP-99
      • 3.9.3 National Broadband Policy 2004
      • 3.9.4 12th Five Year Plan (2012 – 2017)
    • 3.10 Interconnect
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Fixed-line statistics by Operator
    • 4.2 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
      • 4.2.1 Overview
      • 4.2.2 Fixed-line business
    • 4.3 Bharti Airtel
    • 4.4 Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
    • 4.5 Quadrant
    • 4.6 Reliance Communications
    • 4.7 SSTL (Sistema)
    • 4.8 Tata Teleservices
    • 4.9 Videocon
    • 4.10 Vodafone
    • 4.11 NTT
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 Statistics
    • 5.3 Telecom towers
      • 5.3.1 Overview
      • 5.3.2 Developments
    • 5.4 Rural and regional networks
      • 5.4.1 Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
      • 5.4.2 Village Public Telephones (VPTs)
      • 5.4.3 Public Call Offices (PCOs)
    • 5.5 BharatNet / National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
    • 5.6 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
    • 5.7 International infrastructure
      • 5.7.1 Background
    • 5.8 Satellite communications
      • 5.8.1 INSAT
      • 5.8.2 Intelsat
      • 5.8.3 Thaicom (formerly ShinSat)
    • 5.9 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.9.1 FLAG
      • 5.9.2 Network i2i
      • 5.9.3 Tata-Indicom cable
      • 5.9.4 SEA-ME-WE 4
      • 5.9.5 Bharat Lanka cable
      • 5.9.6 India, Middle East, Western Europe (I-ME-WE) cable
      • 5.9.7 Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable
      • 5.9.8 Southeast Asia Japan Cable System (SJC)
      • 5.9.9 Submarine cable developments
    • 5.10 Specific IT developments
      • 5.10.1 Data Centres
      • 5.10.2 Cloud Computing
    • 5.11 Smart infrastructure
      • 5.11.1 M2M/IoT
      • 5.11.2 Smart cities
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Market Overview and analysis
    • 6.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.2.1 Internet statistics
    • 6.3 National Broadband Policy
    • 6.4 National Broadband Plan
    • 6.5 Forecasts – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2017; 2019; 2022
    • 6.6 Fixed Broadband Service Providers
      • 6.6.1 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
      • 6.6.2 Bharti Airtel
      • 6.6.3 Hughes Telecom
      • 6.6.4 Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
      • 6.6.5 Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT)
      • 6.6.6 Vodafone
      • 6.6.7 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
    • 6.7 Fixed Broadband Technologies
      • 6.7.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • 6.7.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.7.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • 6.7.4 Fixed wireless
  • 7. Digital media
    • 7.1 Videostreaming
      • 7.1.1 IPTV
    • 7.2 Broadcasting Market
      • 7.2.1 Overview
      • 7.2.2 Market statistics
      • 7.2.3 Cable TV and Satellite TV
      • 7.2.4 Pay TV
      • 7.2.5 Satellite TV Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV
  • 8. Digital economy
    • 8.1 Overview
    • 8.2 e-Commerce
    • 8.3 e-Education
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market Overview and Analysis
      • 9.1.1 Geographic segments
      • 9.1.2 Rural expansion
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
      • 9.2.1 General statistics
      • 9.2.2 Mobile Broadband
      • 9.2.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2017; 2019; 2022
    • 9.3 Regulatory issues
      • 9.3.1 Spectrum
      • 9.3.2 Mobile Subscriber Verification
      • 9.3.3 Call drop investigation
      • 9.3.4 Operators directed to issue data usage messages
      • 9.3.5 Roaming
      • 9.3.6 MNP
      • 9.3.7 Network sharing
    • 9.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.4.1 Introduction
      • 9.4.2 GSM
      • 9.4.3 CDMA
      • 9.4.4 3G
      • 9.4.5 4G / LTE
      • 9.4.6 Other infrastructure developments
    • 9.5 Major mobile operators
      • 9.5.1 Subscribers by Operator
      • 9.5.2 Merger Activities – 2016 - 2017
      • 9.5.3 Aircel
      • 9.5.4 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
      • 9.5.5 Bharti Airtel
      • 9.5.6 Idea Cellular
      • 9.5.7 Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
      • 9.5.8 Quadrant
      • 9.5.9 Reliance Communications (RCOM)
      • 9.5.10 Reliance Jio Infocomm (jio)
      • 9.5.11 SSTL (Sistema)
      • 9.5.12 Tata Teleservices
      • 9.5.13 Telenor
      • 9.5.14 Vodafone
      • 9.5.15 Fixed-line business
      • 9.5.16 Reach mobile
      • 9.5.17 MVNOs
    • 9.6 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.6.1 Introduction
      • 9.6.2 m-banking (payments/loans)
      • 9.6.3 m-TV
      • 9.6.4 m-Health
      • 9.6.5 Apps
    • 9.7 Mobile handsets
    • Table 1 – Country statistics India – 2017
    • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2017
    • Table 3 – Fixed Broadband statistics – 2017
    • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2017
    • Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
    • Table 6 – Historical - Foreign Direct Investment in telecom sector – 2004 - 2014
    • Table 7 – Telephone services to villages (Universal Services) – 2016
    • Table 8 – Fixed Line Service Provider by Rural, Urban Segment – 2017
    • Table 9 – Fixed Line Service Provider by Rural, Urban Segment – 2016
    • Table 10 – Fixed-line subscribers (millions) by operator – 2010 – 2014; 2016 – 2017
    • Table 11 – BSNL fixed-line subscribers – 2002; 2012 - 2017
    • Table 12 – Bharti fixed-line subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 13 – MTNL fixed-line subscribers – 2004; 2007; 2010 - 2017
    • Table 14 – Quadrant fixed-line subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 15 – Reliance fixed-line subscribers – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 16 – Sistema fixed-line subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 17 – Tata fixed-line subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 18 – Historic - Videocon mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 19 – Vodafone Fixed Line subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 20 – Fixed-line subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 21 – Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity (historical) – 1995 - 2005
    • Table 22 – Growth of VPT scheme – 2001 - 2017
    • Table 23 – PCOs in operation – 2003 – 2004; 2007 - 2017
    • Table 24 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2001 - 2017
    • Table 25 – Fixed broadband subscribers - market share by access type (Historical) – 2014
    • Table 26 – Internet penetration – 2006 - 2018
    • Table 27 – Dial-up internet subscribers (historical) – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 28 – Internet household penetration – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 29 – Proportion of households with a computer– 2007 - 2017
    • Table 30 – International internet bandwidth – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 31 – Forecast Fixed Broadband subscribers – 2017; 2019; 2022
    • Table 32 – Number of licensed ISPs (historical) – 2002 – 2003; 2005; 2008 - 2013
    • Table 33 – Historic - Cable modem subscribers – 2001 - 2014
    • Table 34 – Historic - DSL subscribers – 2001 - 2014
    • Table 35 – Historic - FttX subscribers – 2010 - 2014
    • Table 36 - Broadcasting market overview
    • Table 37 – DTH subscribers – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 38 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 2006 - 2017
    • Table 39 – Mobile subscribers (GSM and CDMA) – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 40 – Mobile penetration in urban and rural areas – 2007; 2009 - 2017
    • Table 41 – Mobile ARPU (GSM and CDMA) – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 42 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 43 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2017; 2019; 2022
    • Table 44 – GSM ARPU – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 45 – GSM ARPU by region/circle, prepaid/postpaid/blended – March 2017
    • Table 46 – GSM ARPU by region/circle, prepaid/postpaid/blended – March 2016
    • Table 47 – CDMA ARPU – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 48 – Mobile subscribers and market share (wireless) – 2017
    • Table 49 – Mobile operators, subscribers and market share (wireless) – 2015 - 2016
    • Table 50 – Mobile operators, subscribers and market share (fixed and wireless) – 2016 - 2017
    • Table 51 – Mobile operators, subscribers and market share (fixed and wireless) – 2015 - 2016
    • Table 52– Mobile operators – Systems and Launch
    • Table 53 – Aircel mobile subscribers – 2004 - 2017
    • Table 54 – BSNL mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 55 – Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 56 – Bharti Airtel mobile ARPU – 2004 - 2005; 2007 - 2017
    • Table 57 – Idea Cellular mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 58 – Idea Cellular mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2011; 2013 - 2017
    • Table 59 – MTNL mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 60 – Quadrant mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 61 – Reliance mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 62 – Reliance mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 63 – Sistema mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 64 – Tata Teleservices mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 65 – Telenor mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2017
    • Table 66 – Vodafone mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2017
    • Table 67 – Vodafone - mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2017
    • Table 68 – Vodafone fixed-line subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Chart 1 – Fixed-line subscribers market share by operator – 2017
    • Chart 2 - Fixed-line subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 3 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 4 - Internet penetration – 2006 - 2018
    • Chart 5 - Forecast Fixed Broadband subscribers – 2017; 2019; 2022
    • Chart 6 - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2006 - 2017
    • Chart 7 - Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2017
    • Chart 8 - Forecast mobile penetration – 2017; 2019; 2022
    • Chart 9 - Mobile subscribers and market share (wireless) – 2017
    • Exhibit 1– Fixed-line basic services by operator
    • Exhibit 2 – Major shareholders in Bharti Airtel
    • Exhibit 3 – ISRO satellite network
    • Exhibit 4 – International submarine cable systems with landing points in India
    • Exhibit 5 – CDMA 3G commercial deployment in India

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