India is one of the fastest growing telecom markets in world. Mobile services were started in India for the first time 1995. That time, it was more of a luxury but with government’s policies and encouragement, it soon became a rage. Initially, tariffs and mobile prices were sky high but emergence of several government as well as private players with the help of foreign investment helped in making Indian mobile tariffs cheapest in the world. Every month, almost 7-9 million new telephone connections are being added. That piece of statistics shows how fast Indian mobile market is rising.
Increasing usage of mobiles has also helped in reducing usage of landline connections. Infact cell phone overtook landline subscribers two years back. India’s overall tele-density stands at approximately 29-30%. Indian mobile industry has several established players that include names like BSNL, MTNL, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Indicom, Reliance Communications, Idea, BPL etc. BSNL is a government of India Company with across the India presence except two metros of Delhi and Mumbai where another public sector company MTNL operates. BSNL is credited to revolutionize the usage of mobile services in rural areas of India. Bharti Airtel is largest private sector telecom company with presence in no less than 23 circles.
Indian mobile industry has three segments of GSM, CDMA and WLL. Bharti and Vodafone (erstwhile Hutch) are the two major private players in GSM segment whereas Reliance Communications and Tata Indicom are major CDMA technology service provider. Reliance has also launched its GSM services and Tata is soon going to follow the suit. Many foreign majors like Virgin Mobiles (Britain), DoCoMo (Japan) etc have also substantial interest in Indian companies.