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March, 2012

Brief Introduction

Third largest in the world and the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia, the Indian Telecommunication network has proved its mettle time and again. Public as well as private segments of the economy have made significant contributions to make the sector one of the key contributors to India's success story.

The growth of Indian telecommunication sector is highly driven by supportive government policies, emerging new technologies and changing consumer behaviour. The fact that the industry has made stupendous growth in recent times is reflected in the statistics, key developments, investments and future prospects pertaining to itare discussed hereafter.

Key Statistics

  • In its recent statement issued, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has revealed that the country's mobile subscriber base has increased from 893.84 million in December 2011 to 903.73 million in January 2012, growing by 1.11 per cent
  • Telecom operators added 9.88 million mobile subscribers in January 2012, taking the total telephone user base to 936.12 million
  • The overall tele-density (telephones per 100 people) reached 77.57 per cent
  • Broadband subscriber base increased from 13.30 million at the end of December 2011 to 13.42 million at the end of January 2012

Market Dynamics

The Indian handset market has registered 14.1 per cent growth in 2011 marking a volume sale of 182 million handsets. The Indian handset market is led by Nokia with 37.2 per cent market share, followed by Samsung (14.9 per cent), G'Five (7.5 per cent) and Micromax (5.8 per cent).

Indian handset market experiences a strong presence of domestic and Chinese handset makers (like Micromax, G'Five, Karbonn, Spice, Maxx and Lava) owing to their offerings that are reasonably priced as well as fully featured with latest technologies and applications.

Moreover, every vendor is venturing into the flourishing smartphone market in India. A report by CyberMedia Research (CMR) reveals that that there were 10 million units of smartphones shipments over January-November 2011. The report titled 'India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review' also stated that there were 23 smartphone model launches in the month of November itself.

For smartphone shipments also (during January-November 2011), Nokia led the market with 38.4 per cent share, with Samsumg (27.5 per cent) and Reliance India Mobile (RIM [15.5 per cent]) trailing behind.