Telecom and Shipping
The Indian telecommunications sector consists of a network of over 21,000 telephone exchanges with capacity of about 15 million lines and 12 million connections. The government plans to connect all rural areas, comprising 557,137 villages. The expanded transmission network will have 20,000km of digital microwave systems, 23,000km of optical fibre systems, a large number of UHF radio relay systems, and digital access via domestic satellite systems.
The National Telecom Policy of 1994 has paved the way for private sector participation and funding to achieve the aim of universal coverage of telephone services at affordable prices. The government has announced a programme of incentives to boost private investment in the telecom sector.
India’s tele-density in December 2006 was about 12%, with the subscriber base nearing the 130 million mark. The popularity of mobile phones has also been boosted by the expanding coverage of all operators. We estimate that around 55% of India’s population is covered by a mobile signal.