Digitimes Research: Telecom reform policies pave way for healthy telecom development in India

Benson Wu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

The government in India, at the end of 2012, implemented the National Telecom Policy, a set of reform policies including nationwide licensing in place of regional licenses, enforcement of regulations on the use and auctioning of frequency bands, mechanisms for mobile telecom carriers to withdraw from the market, and phone number portability, as well as goals to pave the way for healthy development of the local mobile telecom market, according to Digitimes Research.

Mainly due to unbalanced market competition and telecom regulations, the number of mobile communication subscribers in India grew over 20 fold during 2003-2012, Digitimes Research indicated. Following the implementation of the National Telecom policy, the number decreased by about 30 million from a peak in 2012 to 904 million in the first quarter of 2014.

However, India's mobile telecom market has been toward healthy development, as indicated by rebounding ARPU (average revenue per user), growing mobile Internet-access penetration in rural areas, and mobile telecom carriers' swing from losses to profitability, according to statistics by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Despite the improvement, more than 80% of mobile Internet-access subscribers use GPRS/EDGE networks, signifying the need to upgrade network infrastructure.