The year 2015-16 was an inflection year for the industry having weathered spiraling spectrum costs post auction, network optimization issues, large scale introduction of 3G/ 4G networks and services besides having faced serious challenges including call drops arising out of difficulties in locating cell towers and obtaining Right of Way.
Having emerged from this rather difficult period, the industry is geared to move forward to roll out the next big “Digital Revolution” in India. The Government of India, on its part has established a bold policy framework of building ‘Broadband Highways’ as part of the visionary, empowering and ambitious ‘Digital India’ program, which requires long-term and extensive investments in telecom resourcing and infrastructure. As per the commitments made by the Government of India, the Digital India Programme is envisaged to require investments to the tune of more than 113,000 crore.
COAI and its member companies fully support and endorse the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to build a Digitalized India – an imperative vision of digital inclusion and bridging the digital divide. These would invariably include important governance aspects including financial inclusion through mobiles (Jan Dhan Aadhar Mobile – the JAM trinity), e/m-Governance services, empowering all citizens by unleashing higher speeds of broadband services over the coming year and thereafter. We expect to expand to serve the larger unconnected populace and reach the remotest unconnected geographies, to enliven Digital India into action for which we anticipate and invite members of the telecom ecosystem to engage in collaborative innovation. The industry has sought to partner and coalesce with application developers, content providers and info-solutions builders to develop solutions in the areas of governance, health, education, banking etc. This will ensure that these are inter-operable so that benefits which flow to consumers are not restricted and they enjoy the best customer experience possible.
Amidst these transformative times, I present the Annual Report for the year 2015-2016
- FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL’S DESK
- The year 2015-16 was an inflection year for the industry having weathered spiraling spectrum costs post auction, network optimization issues, large scale introduction of 3G/ 4G networks and services besides having faced serious challenges including call drops arising out of difficulties in locating cell towers and obtaining Right of Way.
- STATUS ON POLICY AND REGULATORY ISSUES
- Recent events in the Indian telecom industry indicate a positioning of the business for the future. The sector is emerging from a dark period of pessimism and disappointment and operators are drawing out growth strategies as regulatory clarity emerges for the sector. The Government did announce some significant initiatives - like the much-awaited policy on mergers and acquisitions and permitting of 100 per cent foreign investment in the sector - which will drive Indian telecom in the years to come.
- INDUSTRY INITIATIVES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- During the year, COAI dealt with various issues of importance to the industry.
- OTHER ACTIVITIES OF THE ASSOCIATION
- COAI continued in its endeavor to be at the forefront of national and international events held in the year 2013-14, including Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, ITU events, etc. that addressed issues and matters of interest to our members and industry.
- GROWTH DRIVERS FOR FUTURE
- As stated earlier, we are hopeful for better times in the coming year, especially with the new Government taking charge. The telecom industry and the Government need to work together to attract investments and exploit advances in technology. With the success in voice-connectivity being carried forward to data and emerging technologies including cloud computing, we at COAI are aware of the dynamism that will be required and the Regulatory initiatives by the Government and TRAI which will have long term benefits for the industry.