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Mobile highlights: growth at last in India

Published: 2009-11-19

Mobile communications in India traces its origins back in 1985 when the first mobile telephone service started on a non-commercial basis in Delhi using analogue technology. In 1992, the telecommunications sector in India began the process of liberalisation to provide additional resources, ending the state-owned Department of Telecommunications (operating under BSNL/MTNL and VSNL) monopoly in the mobile telephony industry. However, it was only in 1994 that the government awarded eight mobile licenses, two in each of India's four major cities. Among the original mobile licensees were Bharti Airtel and Modi Telstra. In 1995, commercial services began with the introduction of GSM technology. Modi Telstra's MobileNet service carried India's first mobile commercial phone call in Calcutta. The 1999 new telecom policy in India brought in a more flexible and liberal approach in mobile telecommunications competition by allowing interconnection services among mobile operators in their respective areas of operation and opening up additional frequency spectrum allocation for mobile operators. The present rule requires no additional license for any additional services offered by present licensees in their respective areas of operations.

Published: 2009-11-19



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