India Becomes Second Largest Telephone Network in World

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India now has the second largest network in the world, next only to China. India crossed the landmark of one billion telephone subscribers in the year 2015-16.

Total subscription now stands at 1194.99 million as on 31.3.2017.

501.81 million connections are in rural areas and 693.18 million in the urban areas.

The wireless telephony constitutes 97.96% (1170.59 million) of all subscriptions whereas share of the landline telephony now stands at 2.04% (24.40 million) at the end of March, 2017.

261.97 million telephones were added during April 2014 to March, 2017 as compared to 86.69 million net addition during the April, 2011 to March 2014.

Mobile phone addition touched 266.07 million during the period from April 2014 to March 2017 as compared to 92.92 million during the April 2011 to March 2014

Total internet connections as on December 2016 was 391.5 million. Total broadband connection till March 2017 stood at 276.52 million.

139.91 million Internet connections have been added during March 2014 to December 2016.

Data traffic in India has shown a six fold increase from 561 million GB in the first quarter to 2988 million GB in the third quarter of 2016-17.

FDI equity inflow in telecom sector from April, 2016 to March, 2017 has reached US $ 5564 million which is more than four times the average inflow of about 1.3 billion annually (since 2013-14).

Reforms in Telecom Sector

The ‘Aadhaar based E-KYC services’ for issuing mobile connections has been prescribed from September, 2016. Under this, a subscriber can authenticate himself using his biometrics at the point of sale.

One Nation – Full Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been allowed since 3rd July 2015.

The flagship BharatNet program is being implemented to link each of the 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of India through Broadband optical fibre network.

As on date OFC has been laid in 202675 km covering 90027 Gram Panchayats (GPs). OFC pipes have been laid in 2,24,340 km covering 100934 GPs.

Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for North-East Region (NER) has been approved to provide mobile coverage to 8621 uncovered villages, installation of 321 mobile towers along National Highways and strengthening of transmission network

Proposal to setup 25,000 Public Wi-Fi Hotspots using the block-level infrastructure of BSNL’s Telephone Exchanges in rural areas has been approved.

A proposal for setting up of 5000 Wi-Fi Chaupals at Gram Panchayat levels in the 18 states of the country by CSC-SPV, at an estimated cost of`100 crore, to be funded from USOF, has been approved.

An agreement is proposed to be signed with RailTel for setting up Wi-Fi hotspot at 200 at rural railway stations.

Mobile phones sold in India now come with a dedicated “panic button” and Global Positioning System( GPS).

Department of Telecom has launched Tarang Sanchar, a web portal for Information sharing on Mobile Towers and EMF Emission Compliances.

MTNL has launched a special program to progressively increase the fibre length by redeploying the broadband nodes (DSLAMS) near to the subscriber premises in Delhi and Mumbai thereby reducing copper length and enhancing the quality of broadband service.

MTNL provided connectivity at 133 locations for Area Traffic Control Project of Mumbai Traffic Police for Road Traffic Monitoring.

The free night calling facility was introduced for all landline customers for making local calls to any network in Delhi and Mumbai between 10 PM to 7 AM.

Present Market Share of BSNL is 9.95% (as on 31.12.2016) which was 8.16% as on 31.12.2015. The total income increased by 7.05% upto third quarter w.r.t. previous year same period. EBIDTA of BSNL which was (-) 691 CR in 2013-14 has become (+) 672 CR in 2014-15 & further (+) 3855 CR in 2015-16.

Till date BSNL has provided 5000 Wi-Fi hotspots (approx) in more than 1000 locations.

BSNL is in process of setting up 40,000 Wi-FI hotspots with Mobile data off loading shortly to provide 4G experience to 2G/3G customers.

BSNL is planning to provide 25,000 hotspots in each of its 25,000 rural exchanges in 2016-17.

BSNL has provided Night free calling (between 9 PM to 7 AM) to all networks for BSNL customers. Sunday free calling has also been extended.

In Maharashtra Circle 500 villages in Nagpur SSA were provide with internet facility through Public Wi-FI hotspots with Fund support of State Govt.

ECR CONE (Enhanced Capacity & Resilience of Core Network) has been planned with an estimated cost Rs.1000 Cr. for higher Data speed Broadband services, leasing of High capacity Bandwidth to Telecom Operators/ISP’s which will includes implementation of the Super Highway Transport Network with 100 Gbps line capacity.

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