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 Indi' program, which requires long-term and extensive investments in telecom resourcing and infrastructure.Download
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The year 2014-15 was an astounding melange of increasing regulatory certainty but heightened business uncertainty for the telecom industry. On one hand, we witnessed forward looking recommendations from the Regulator on trading and sharing of spectrum, proposal on uniform SUC, Broadband, etc., which brought in additional clarity to new investments as well as action into the sector. However, we also witnessed a spectrum auction structured to extract maximum money from the industry, which has led to an increased financial burden on the industry. The operators have already invested billions of dollars in license fees, spectrum fees and network roll-outs, yet the industry makes negative returns on the capital invested. Post the auction, the financial situation has dimmed considerablyDownload
The past 4 years have seen VLR penetration grow from a nominal 42.8% in September 2010 to 63.8% in March 2014 – a creditable growth in spite of the hurdles faced. Of the 791 MN active VLR subscribers (TRAI March 2014 report), over 570 Mn are with COAI members, demonstrating the commitment of each of our members to grow the sector.
In spite of being the 2nd largest mobile country globally by subscribers, this 63.8% penetration [India’s Population is 1240 Mn] compares poorly within the world average @ 95.4%. Clearly, there is plenty of headroom for growth in the next 4-5 years. The challenge being, most of the new users will be from the rural heartland and the industry needs active Government & DoT support to connect these millions of rural unconnected Indians.
India and China accounted for nearly forty per cent of the global new mobile connections in the year 2012. Clearly, India is still a part of the big growth story in global mobile telephony. The India mobile subscriber base stood at 865 million in 2012 and is expected to be one billion by 2014.
Indian mobile subscriber base now contributes to over 13% of the world mobile subscriptions of 6.5 billion. But in terms of revenue, India lags behind miserably. Indian telecom revenue (based on TRAI CY 2012 release) stood at USD 27 billion (Rs.1,48,792 Cr; 1 USD = Rs. 55) against broad global telecom revenue as released by GSMA & others at USD 1,160 billion (for the same period), a meager 2.3% of global revenue.
COAI remained active in its endeavor to be at the forefront of national and international events held in the year 2011-12. COAI took the lead in coordinating the Indian Government Delegation to 3GSM World Congress 2011, held in the month of February at Barcelona. The delegation successfully represented the Indian Telecom Industry and highlighted the immense opportunities present in the country.Download
COAI also organized various Seminars and Workshops on issues of interest and benefits for its members, industry and creating awareness amongst the consumers. The issues included Mobile Broadband, EMF Radiations, LTE, Location Based Services, Network Audits, etc. COAI and its members continued our active participation in Organization such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, GSMA, 3GPP, ITU among others, as well as activities of many telecom events in India.