Innovation: A key to sustain in the Indian Telecom Industry
At present the telecom network in India is the second largest in the world followed by China. The subscriber base stood nearly 650 million in 2010 and rose to about 850 million in the year 2011. The major players in the telecom industry includes: Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance, Aircel, Idea, BSNL and MTNL.
In the olden times telegraphs were in use. By the year 1850 the first telegraph line was established for the use of the British East India Company. With its increasing use the Government started establishing telephone exchanges in India. Later the government allowed foreign players to enter this market thus heating up the market competition. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was set up in 1997 to manage the regulations and policies of the telecom industry.
In the past mobile phones were only for the rich but now phones are available for a mere Rs. 1000 and is affordable by all. Towards the end of 2012 the telecom industry is expected to provide nearly one crore jobs with nearly twenty five direct jobs and seventy indirect jobs.
The main essence behind the growth of this industry is the foreign investments. The government to promote the growth of the telecom industry has relaxed various norms to encourage more inflow of investments and entrants of foreign players. The telecom industry was once upon a time a monopolistic market with the competition now becoming highly intensive.
In the early 2000’s the average cost per call per minute would be Rs. 7 and now due to the intensive competition the cost has been reduced to nearly Rs. 0.5 per minute. The SMS schemes are also lucrative and are majorly used by the youngsters. Also the roaming charges have dropped with the call charges being somewhere around Rs. 4 to Rs. 5 per minute. With the rates being slashed down after the entry of foreign players the market and the subscribers have benefited immensely.
The main factors that are fuelling the telecom industry are the services like 3G and 4G, cloud technologies, innovative and better technologies, and rise in consumer disposable income.
The telecom network infrastructure is an essential component hence with the rise in foreign investments there has been major developments in the infrastructure of India. The rise in the subscriber base has given rise to the number of telecom towers which happen to be quite expensive thus investments play a crucial role here.