The Indian telecom sector has registered a phenomenal growth during the past few years and has become second largest telephone network in the world, only after China. A series of reform measures by the Government, the wireless technology and active participation by private sector played an important role in the exponential growth of telecom sector in the country. National Telecom Policy-2012 (NTP-2012) was announced with the primary objective of maximizing public good by making available affordable, reliable and secure telecommunication and broadband services across the entire country.
With the implementation of NTP 2012, the number of telephonic connections rose exponentially. The number of telephone connection was 893.14 million as on January 2013 with the rural telephone connections having increased by nearly 10 million in the last year. The overall teledensity stood at 73.07 per cent as on January 2013 with the rural teledensity crossing 40 per cent. This is in sharp contrast with the overall teledensity of 7.04 per cent and rural teledensity of merely 1.7 per cent in March 2004.
As far as mobile penetration is concerned, the preference for use of wireless telephony continues. The share of wireless telephones increased from 96.62% as on March 31, 2012 to 96.74% by the end of June 2012 and thereafter slightly declined to 96.56% by the end of December 2012. On the other hand, the share of landline telephones slightly increased from 3.38% to 3.44% during the period from April to December 2012.
The wireless subscriber base increased from 33.6 million in March 2004 to 864.72 million as on December 2012. On the other hand, the average tariff for each outgoing call per minute for GSM services dropped from Rs. 2.89 in March 2004 to 47 paisa in December 2012.