Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

Completed Details

The Story of Indian Telecom: Volatility, Opprobrium, Impact and Promise

Project Leader: Rajat Kathuria
Research Team: Mansi Kedia and Parnil Urdhwareshe
Commencement: April 2014
Funded by: ICRIER

The story of Indian telecom’s extraordinary growth, controversies and impact has remained the subject of constant media, public and academic attention for nearly a decade. At the centre of this story is the mobile phone with nearly 915 million subscribers (as of June 2014) that has been the fulcrum on which telecom has moved India. However, any promise that the sector may hold cannot exist in the absence of an enabling environment there is no simple solution for telecom to revisit prosperity, especially given the change in landscape and the entry of disruptive technology. In March of 2014, ICRIER organised its International Conference on Telecommunications with the objective of influencing India’s telecom sector policy discourse towards a more constructive and forward-looking path. The conference served as the genesis for ICRIER’S flagship report on The Story of Indian Telecom: Volatility, Opprobrium, Impact and Promise.

ICRIER’S flagship report attempts to address the major issues at the heart of the Indian telecom sector. It thus touches the current state of institutions, spectrum, competition and interconnection as well as upcoming subjects of importance such as internet governance, network neutrality and the advent of Over-The-Top services. It distils findings from stakeholder interactions and primary and secondary research to provide a holistic overview of the current state of Indian telecom. The flagship report will provide a wealth of data, rigorous statistical analysis and views of sector experts to ultimately suggest policy options to unlock telecom’s vast unexploited potential in India. The report will be of interest to researchers, telecom sector professionals, policy makers, students and anyone who has an interest in networked industries in general.



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