India is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications
market with a subscriber base of 1.05 billion and has registered strong growth
in the past decade. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly. The country
is the fourth largest economy in the world.
The liberal and reformist policies of the Government of India
have been instrumental along with strong consumer demand in the rapid growth in
the Indian telecom sector. The government has enabled easy market access to
telecom equipment and a fair and proactive regulatory framework that has
ensured availability of telecom services to consumer at affordable prices.
The Indian telecom sector is expected to generate four million
direct and indirect jobs over the next five years according to estimates by
Randstad India. The employment opportunities are expected to be created due to
combination of government’s efforts to increase penetration in rural areas and
the rapid increase in smartphone sales and rising internet usage.
International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts India to overtake
US as the second-largest smartphone market globally by 2017 and to maintain
high growth rate over the next few years as people switch to smartphones and
gradually upgrade to 4G.
The mobile industry is expected to create a total economic value
of Rs 14 trillion (US$ 217.37 billion) by the year 2020. It would generate
around 3 million direct job opportunities and 2 million indirect jobs during
The total number of telephone subscribers in the country rose by
11.13 per cent year-on-year to 1,151.78 million in the September-December
quarter of 2016. The Indian telecommunication services market will likely grow
by 10.3 per cent year-on-year to reach US$ 103.9 billion by 2020.
The revenue of mobile handset industry rose 22 per cent to Rs
1.36 trillion (US$ 21.12 billion) in 2016. In 2017, around 200 million mobile
handsets will be made out of India out of the 270 million mobile handsets to be
Smartphone subscriptions in India is expected to increase
four-fold to 810 million users by 2021, while the total smartphone traffic is
expected to grow seventeen-fold to 4.2 Exabytes (EB) per month by 2021.
According to a study by GSMA, smartphones are expected to
account for two out of every three mobile connections globally by 2020 making
India the fourth largest smartphone market. India is expected to lead in the
growth of smartphone adoption globally with an estimated net addition of 350
million by year 2020.Total number of smartphone shipments in India stood at
25.8 million units in the quarter ending December 2016, and smartphone
shipments during 2016 stood at 109.1 million units, up by 5.2 per cent
year-on-year. Broadband services user-base in India is expected to grow to 250
million connections by 2017.
With daily increasing subscriber base, there have been a lot of
investments and developments in the sector. The industry has attracted FDI
worth US$ 23.95 billion during the period April 2000 to March 2017.
The government has fast-tracked reforms in the telecom sector
and continues to be proactive in providing room for growth for telecom
companies. Some of the other major initiatives taken by the government are as
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) focuses on identifying issues
that make it difficult to do telecom business in India like licence
acquisition and spectrum allotment among others, and review them in order
to simplify these processes to the maximum possible extent.
Government of India plans to auction the 5G spectrum in bands like 3,300
MHz and 3,400 MHz to promote initiatives like Internet of Things (IoT),
machine-to-machine communications, instant high definition video transfer
as well as its Smart Cities initiative.
Government of India has launched a phased manufacturing programme (PMP)
aimed at adding more smartphone components under the Make in India
initiative thereby giving a push to the domestic manufacturing of mobile
Government of India has allocated Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.5 billion) for
rolling out optical fibre-based broadband network across 150,000
cumulative gram panchayats (GP) and Rs 3,000 crore (US$ 450 million) for
laying optical fibre cable (OFC) and procuring equipment for the Network
For Spectrum (NFS) project in 2017-18.