The Year of the Telecom Industry: 2009

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The Year of the Telecom Industry: 2009The year 2009 was not all that bad for the Indian telecom industry, even though the industry had its share of troubles also.

What we believe one of the major achievements for the Indian telecom industry was it added 500 million subscribers in September, at least a year in advance. The industry was expecting user numbers to cross 500 million the end of 2010.

The number of telephone subscribers in India rose to 509.03 million, according to data compiled by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Tariffs had hit all-time lows, with the telecom service providers competing to outbid each other in launching the lowest fare in the country. Low tariffs, even though would bleed the players, was a welcoming initiative to the industry and users. To the industry as it would lead to increasing telecom penetration and to users as telecom services became more affordable.

Bsnl slotted down to 4th place PSU tried to buy some foreign company, later moved on at the end of the year we saw stel- shiva is back in telecom town targeting ‘c’ circles then Rcom made sms tariff as low as 1p/sms to .20p/sms wondering who will follow Rcom’s sms tariff we are waiting operators are you listing …..When we come to wireless internet Rcom, Tata and MTS introduced groundbreaking 3.1 Mbps wireless internet. Then new ISPs lowered down internet tariff, most of them r cable based biting BSNL a lot!! Broadband for BSNL is just one thing for what it is working, landline required for BSNL broadband!!

Companies like Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications were among others slashed call rates during the year. Many of the companies followed Tata DoCoMo to launch per second billing in across various circles in the country, a move that resulted in further fall of telecom tariffs across the country.

Many companies like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata Communications, Pacnet, announced new submarine cable systems. Most of the cable systems were new networks to carry data and telecom tariff to India. The year also witnessed entry of new operators like MTS, Uninor, Aircel (launching services in new circles).


The much talked about allocation of 3G and BWA spectrum, the mobile number portability were delayed to 2010, while Internet Telephony and MVNO were put off indefinitely.

Bharti Airtel lost out the opportunity to acquire South Africa’s MTN Group, and in turn, become one of the largest mobile service provider in the world. Now, the company is in talks with Warid Telecom to acquire a majority stake in the latter’s Bangladesh operations.

However, 2010 holds much promise and hope for the industry. Post in your comments on your predictions in 2010.

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TT Desk is handled by TelecomTalk staff writers covering breaking news, live events and more from the world of telecom and technology.

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