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Report on Telecom Sector

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At the Economic Editors' Conference 2008 recently, Union Ministry of Communications & Information Technology reiterated that the proactive policies of the Department of Telecommunications have resulted in an unprecedented growth of the telecom sector. The Department of Telecommunications has been able to provide state of the art world class infrastructure at globally competitive tariffs and reduce the digital divide by extending connectivity to the unconnected areas. The last four years have seen renowned telecom companies setting up their manufacturing bases in India.

The Indian telecom sector is currently witnessing a resurgent growth and has emerged as the fastest growing telecom market in the world with the addition of over 8 million subscribers per month. Handsets are being sold at a price, which are within the reach of the common man which in turn has made India one of the most sought after telecom manufacturing destinations.

Regarding the performance of the telecom sector the figures disclosed are as follows: the total number of telephone connections have gone up from 76.5 million in March 2004 to 353.61 million in September, 2008; wreless connections have gone up form 35.6 million in March 2004 to 315.13 million in September, 2008; rural telephone have gone up from 12.2 million in March 2004 to 104.83 million in September 2008, while urban telephone have gone up from 64.3 million in March 2004 to 248.83 million in September 2008; overall tele-density has gone up from 7.02 percent in March 2004 to 30.64 per cent in September 2008; rural tele-density has gone up from 1.57 percent in March 2004 to 12.89 per cent in September 2008; FDI equity inflow has gone up from 116 million dollar in March 2004 to 1261 million dollar in March 2008; and focused programme to provide Village Public Telephones (VPTs) in 66,822 uncovered villages by June 2008 has been undertaken and as against this target the total number of VPTs provided to villages was 55,420 till 31st October, 2008.

With the introduction of 3G and BWA (Broadband Wireless Acess) services in the country additional value added services such as high

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