Indian telecom industry Preview – 2014 ~ 2015
India has the fastest growing telecom network in the world with its high population and development potential. Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata, BSNL, Aircel are the major operators in India. India’s public sector telecom company is the 7th largest telecom company in world.
As per TRAI “Private operators hold 90.05 per cent of the wireless subscriber market share whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU operators hold only 9.95 per cent market share.”
Indian telecom operators added a staggering 227.27 million wireless subscribers in the 12 months between March 2010 and March 2011 averaging at 18.94 million subscribers every month. To put this into perspective, China which currently possesses the world’s largest telecommunications network added 119.2 million wireless subscribers during the same period , averaging 9.93 million subscribers every month (a little over half the number India was adding every month). So, while India might currently be second to China in the total number of mobile subscribers, India has been adding nearly twice as many subscribers every month until March 2011. Mobile teledensity increased by almost 18.4 percent from March 2010 and March 2011 (49.60% to 67.98%) while wireline subscriber numbers fell by a modest 2.2 million. This frenetic pace of monthly subscriber additions means that the Indian mobile subscriber base has shown a year on year growth of 43.23%. Subscriber number hit a peak in June 2012 but has since declined. The decline in telecom user base after June 2012 has been primarily due to the removal of inactive mobile telephone connections by service providers.
Teledensity in India
Mobile Subscriber addition Y-O-Y
2002 >>>>>5.23 mn
2003 >>>>>17.49 mn
2004 >>>>>19.49 mn
2005 >>>>>27.86 mn
2006 >>>>>64.14 mn
2007 >>>>>85.27 mn
2008 >>>>>113.26 mn
2009 >>>>>178.25 mn
2010 >>>>>227.12 mn
2011 >>>>>148.32 mn
2012 >>>>>52.18 mn
2013 >>>>>104.85 mn
2014 >>>>> ( 72 mn net ) ??
The mobile telephone network has aggrandized greatly since 2000. The number of mobile phone connections crossed fixed-line connections in 2004. India primarily follows the GSM mobile system, in the 900 MHz band. Recent operators also operate in the 1800 MHz band. 3G operations are carried out in 2100 MHz band. The dominant players are Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Tata DoCoMo, Reliance Communications and state run BSNL/MTNL. There are many smaller players like Aircel, Videocon, MTS, Uninor etc. with operations in only a few states. International roaming agreements exist between most operators and many foreign carriers. The data reported by service providers indicates that rural India is emerging as the growth driver. Mobile services subscriber base in rural areas increased to 382.50 million in September 2014 from 374.96 million in February 2014.
Operators Share in India
With daily increasing subscriber base, there have been a lot of investments and developments in the sector. Some of the major developments in the recent past are:
- Bharti Infratel has planned to take over the telecom towers of Vodafone and Idea Cellular in India at a valuation of Rs 5,000 crore (US$ 785.82 million). The company is also scouting for telecom tower acquisition opportunities in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
- Japanese telecom company SoftBank has planned to invest around US$ 10 billion in India’s IT sector over the next few years.
- Ericsson has won Rs 60 crore (US$ 9.42 million) three-year operations support systems (OSS) deal from Mukesh Ambani-headed Reliance Jio Infocomm, the only pan-India 4G licence holder in the country. Under the deal Ericsson will provide the telecom unit of Reliance Industries its service fulfilment software solutions comprising nine suites.
- Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has signed an agreement to share telecom towers of GTL Infrastructure Ltd. This is the seventh tower-sharing agreement that Reliance Jio has forged with telecom tower owners in India. This is the seventh tower-sharing agreement that Reliance Jio Infocomm has forged with telecom tower owners in India.
- ISUN is the latest Indian brand in mobile phones and tablet personal computers. The Chennai-based Exotic Global Trades Pvt Ltd launched its telecom products under the ISUN brand that will be bundled with various BSNL schemes.
- Reliance Jio Infocomm has planned to raise US$ 1.5 billion from more than two dozen overseas banks to refinance the loans taken in the year 2010. A total of 26 banks participated in the deal, including 15 mandated lead arrangers and book runners (MLABs).