India - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - 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, Digital Media and Digital Economy sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Regional market comparisons
  • Telecoms Maturity Index
  • Data centres and smart Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Broadband (FTTH, DSL);
  • Internet of Things, 5G developments
  • Mobile, broadband and mobile broadband forecasts to 2023-4.

Researcher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- August 2019 (25th Edition)

Executive Summary

India grows rapidly in the IoT, Smart Cities and data centre markets

The mobile market continues to be the main focus of the Indian telecom sector. India’s mobile market continues to get the bulk of local capital expenditure as the operators expand their infrastructure.

India has the potential to become one of the five largest data centre markets globally. In the last few years, there has been a radical shift in the way Indians produce and consume data. A number of government initiatives and regulations will see further increases in the number of internet users and enforce strict data residency laws that will require vastly more data centre capacity. There will be a rapid increase in the rate in which on-premise facilities are being outsourced to third-party data centres, especially as cloud computing continues to grow.

India's telecom industry is expected to see a major expansion of its network infrastructure during the 2019 to 2022 period. Each of the top three mobile operators: Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone-Idea are now planning to extend coverage to address a surge in data consumption.

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 2024 from this very small base.

Newcomer Reliance Jio began offering its home broadband service, one of four engines of connectivity revenue for Jio, the other three being nationwide IoT, enterprise broadband and broadband for small and medium businesses.

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, and in the coming years these sectors will expand further contributing to the country’s digital economic growth.

The Department of Electronics & Information Technology of India published its Internet of Things policy estimating the IoT industry in India will grow very strongly. Focus areas include agriculture, health, water quality, natural disasters, transportation, security, automobile, supply chain management and smart cities.

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 six years. The market remains highly competitive, but 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.

Particularly strong growth was seen as newcomer Reliance Jio aggressively entered the market, initially with a free data offering. This has seen a sharp drop in ARPU amongst most mobile operators and a sharp loss of subscribers by some operators. The subsequent price war in the mobile sector intensified further and has severely hampered RCOM’s business in particular, with its subscriber base nearly entirely wiped out.

Slower growth is predicted over the next five years to 2024. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition and an increasingly saturated mobile market.

Mobile broadband penetration has grown strongly in India over the past few years, driven by a strong and growing mobile subscriber base and strong adoption of 4G LTE services. Further strong growth is predicted over the few years, driven by further adoption of 4G and soon 5G services particularly as the penetration rate is well below a number of other nations.

India has taken initial steps towards the eventual rollout of 5G services. and has announced plans to establish a 5G corridor in New Delhi as part of its testing of the technology.

Key Developments

  • The adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) in India has been advancing slowly with Indian enterprises.
  • India has the potential to become one of the five largest data centre markets globally.
  • India's telecom industry is expected to see a major expansion of its network infrastructure during the 2019 to 2022 period.
  • India has taken initial steps towards the eventual rollout of 5G services.
  • BSNL has partnered with Ciena to conduct field trials of 5G technology.
  • Mobile broadband penetration has grown strongly in India.
  • Fixed broadband penetration is expected to grow at a moderate rate over the next five years to 2024.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Loop Mobile (BPL Mobile), Vodafone 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), Spectra, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), Sistema,

Phil Harpur
August 2019

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market Overview and Analysis
    • Regional Asian Market Comparison
    • Background
    • Telecommunications Investment
      • Infrastructure Projects – 2018 – 2020
      • Investment in Digital Projects
      • 2018-19 Telecoms Projects
  • Regulatory environment

    • Overview
    • Regulatory Authorities
      • Ministry for Communications (MoC)
      • Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
      • Telecom Commission
      • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
      • Telecom Dispute Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)
      • Communications Commission of India (CCI)
      • Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)
    • Licensing Circles
    • Licensing – VNO’s
    • Net Neutrality
    • Access
    • Fibre Access
    • Interconnect
    • Government Policies
      • 12th Five Year Plan (2012 – 2017)
  • Fixed network operators

    • Fixed-line statistics by Operator
    • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
    • Bharti Airtel
    • Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
    • Quadrant
    • Reliance Communications
      • SSTL (Sistema)
    • TATA Teleservices
    • Videocon
    • Vodafone
    • NTT
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the National Telecom Network
    • Statistics
    • Telecom Towers
      • Overview
      • Developments
    • Rural and Regional Networks
      • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
      • Public Call Offices (PCOs)
    • Bharatnet / National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
    • Next Generation Networks (NGN)
    • International Infrastructure
      • Background
    • Satellite Communications
      • INSAT
      • Intelsat
      • Thaicom (formerly ShinSat)
    • Submarine Cable Networks
      • FLAG
      • Network i2i
      • Tata-Indicom cable
      • SEA-ME-WE 4
      • Bharat Lanka cable
      • India, Middle East, Western Europe (I-ME-WE) cable
      • Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable
      • Southeast Asia Japan Cable System (SJC)
      • Submarine cable developments
    • Data Centres
      • Overview
      • Major Providers
    • IT Specific Developments
      • Cloud Computing
    • Smart Infrastructure
      • Internet-Of-Things (IoT)
      • Smart Cities
      • Artificial Intelligence
  • Broadband market

    • Introduction and Statistical Overview
      • Market Overview and analysis
      • Broadband statistics and Forecast
      • National Broadband Plan
    • Fixed Broadband Service Providers
      • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
      • Bharti Airtel
      • Hughes Telecom
      • Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
      • Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT)
      • Vodafone Idea
      • Jio
      • Spectra
      • Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
    • Fixed Broadband Technologies
      • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • Fixed wireless
  • Digital economy

    • Overview
    • e-Payments
    • e-Education
    • Smart meters
  • Digital media

    • Broadcasting Market
  • Mobile communications

    • Market Overview and Analysis
      • Geographic Segments
      • Rural Expansion
    • Mobile Statistics
      • Mobile Statistics and Forecast
      • Mobile Broadband Statistics and Forecast
    • Regulatory Issues
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Subscriber Verification
      • Interconnection
      • Roaming
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Mobile Infrastructure
      • GSM
      • CDMA
      • 3G
      • 4G / LTE
      • 5G Developments
      • Other Infrastructure Developments
    • Major Mobile Operators
      • Subscribers by Operator
      • Merger Activities – 2016 – 2018
      • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
      • Bharti Airtel
      • Vodafone Idea
      • Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
      • Quadrant
      • Reliance Communications (RCOM)
      • Aircel
      • Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio)
      • TATA Teleservices
      • Vodafone - Historic
      • Reach Mobile
      • MVNOs

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Country Statistics, Major Operators and Telco Authorities – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – Top Level Country Statistics – 2019 (e)
  • Table 3 – Fixed-line subscribers (millions) by operator – 2010 – 2014; 2016 – 2019
  • Table 4 – Fixed Line Service Provider by Rural, Urban Segment – 2018
  • Table 5 – BSNL fixed-line subscribers – 2002; 2012 – 2019
  • Table 6 – Bharti fixed-line subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 7 – MTNL fixed-line subscribers – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Quadrant fixed-line subscribers – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 9 – Reliance fixed-line subscribers – 2005 - 2019
  • Table 10 – Historic - Sistema fixed-line subscribers – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 11 – Tata fixed-line subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 12 – Historic - Videocon mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2015
  • Table 13 – Vodafone Idea Fixed Line subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity (historical) – 1995 – 2005
  • Table 16 – PCOs in operation – 2003 – 2004; 2007 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 18 – Historic - Fixed broadband subscribers - market share by access type – 2014
  • Table 19 – Internet penetration – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 20 – Historic - Dial-up internet subscribers – 2007 – 2013
  • Table 21 – Historic - International internet bandwidth – 2000 – 2017
  • Table 22 – Historic - Number of licensed ISPs – 2002 – 2003; 2005; 2008 – 2013
  • Table 23 – Historic - Cable modem subscribers – 2001 – 2014
  • Table 24 – Historic - DSL subscribers – 2001 – 2014
  • Table 25 – Historic - FttX subscribers – 2010 – 2014
  • Table 26 – DTH subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 28 – Historic - Mobile subscribers (GSM and CDMA) – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 29 – Mobile penetration in urban and rural areas – 2007; 2009 – 2019
  • Table 30 – Mobile ARPU (GSM and CDMA) – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 31 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2011 – 2024
  • Table 32 – GSM ARPU – 2003 - 2018
  • Table 33 – CDMA ARPU – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 34 –Mobile subscribers and market share – 2019
  • Table 35 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and market share – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 36 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and market share – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 37 – Historic - Mobile operators, subscribers and market share (fixed and wireless) – 2016 – 2017
  • Table 38 – BSNL mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 39 – Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 40 – Bharti Airtel mobile ARPU – 2004 - 2005; 2007 – 2018
  • Table 41 – Historic - Telenor mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 42 – Vodafone Idea - mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 43 – Idea Cellular mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2011; 2013 – 2018
  • Table 44 – MTNL mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 45 – Historic - Quadrant mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 46 – Reliance mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 47 – Reliance mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 48 – Historic - Sistema mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 49 – Aircel mobile subscribers – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 50 – Reliance Jio mobile subscribers – 2017 - 2019
  • Table 51 – Reliance mobile ARPU – 2018
  • Table 52 – Tata Teleservices mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 53 – Vodafone mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 54 – Vodafone - mobile ARPU – 2008 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2019; 2024
  • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 4 – Telecoms Maturity Index – Northern Asia
  • Chart 5 - Fixed-line subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 6 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 7 - Internet penetration – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 9 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2011 - 2024

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Northern Asia - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 – Major shareholders in Bharti Airtel
  • Exhibit 4 – ISRO satellite network
  • Exhibit 5 – International submarine cable systems with landing points in India
  • Exhibit 6 – CDMA 3G commercial deployment in India

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