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India Is The World’s Second-Largest Telecommunications Market With A Subscriber Base Of 1.2 Billion.

Digital India is expected to create US$ 1.3 trillion business opportunities by 2022

India is the 2nd largest mobile market in the world.

It ranks as the 2nd largest market of Internet users, having reached a count of 687.62 million around September 2019.

2nd largest market in terms of number of app downloads.

The country achieved the world’s highest data usage per smartphone at an average of 9.8 GB per month.

Further rise in mobile-phone penetration and decline in data costs is expected to add 500 million new Internet users in the country.

The total number of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) connections was projected to reach 1.4 billion by 2020.

It is on its way to becoming the 2nd largest smartphone market globally by 2025 with a billion installed devices and 900+ million unique mobile subscribers.

India has the potential to unlock US$ 48.69 billion through the deployment of 5G over the next four years.

Department of Telecommunications is targeting a combination of 100% broadband connectivity in the villages, 55% fiberisation of mobile towers, average broadband speeds of 25 Mbps and 30 lakh km of optic fibre rollouts by December 2022.

Digital India is expected to create US$ 1.3 trillion business opportunities by 2022.

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 envisaged attracting investment worth US$ 100 billion in the telecommunications sector by 2022.

The digital revolution has found its biggest champion in handheld devices. Handheld device ownership in India has grown exponentially during 2015-2020. In March 2020, the government approved the Production Incentive Scheme (PLI) for large-scale electronics manufacturing to encourage the in-house production of handheld devices under Make in India.

Further rise in mobile-phone penetration and decline in data costs is expected to add 500 million new internet users in the country. The total number of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) connections was projected to  
reach 1.4 billion by 2020. Wireless data usage in India had grown to 19,838,886 terabytes by September 2019.

Telecom industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP is expected to reach 8.2%. A total of 4 million people are currently employed by the Telecom Sector in India. It is on its way to becoming the second-largest smartphone market globally by 2025 with a billion installed devices and over 900 million unique mobile subscribers.

Nearly 90 million 5G connections have been estimated to be subscribed by 2025. Telecom tower tenancy has been projected to increase threefold by 2022 with the expansion of 4G and the onset of 5G technologies. 5G is expected to be a game changer for the telecom industry by yielding enormous economic opportunities by 2023. India has the potential to unlock US$ 48.69 billion through the deployment of 5G over the next four years. The Indian telecom sector revenue stood at US$ 26.51 billion in FY20.

As of January 2020, more than 542 banks were given accessibility to provide mobile banking services in India. Transactions through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) stood at 1.24 billion by March 2020, valued at US$ 29.47 billion.

The Department of Information Technology intends to set up over 1 million internet-enabled common service centres across India as per the National e-Governance Plan. The Department of Telecommunication has launched ‘Tarang Sanchar’ - a web portal sharing information on mobile towers and EMF Emission Compliances. Revenue from the telecom equipment sector has been projected to grow to US$ 26.38 billion by 2021.

More than 70 companies have received the approval to provide MVNO services, from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) . DoT is targeting a combination of 100% broadband connectivity in the villages, 55% fiberisation of mobile towers, average broadband speeds of 25 mbps and 30 lakh kms of optic fibre rollouts by December 2022. Till date, optical fiber cables have been laid over 100,000 gram panchayats. India achieved 100% digitisation of its cable TV network in July 2019 and Digital India is expected to create US$ 1.3 trillion business opportunities by 2022.

Unlocking the potential of the telecom sector is key to unlocking the portal that leads to India becoming a US$ 5 Trillion Economy, a fact that is reflected in the following developments:



  • 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed in the Telecom sector , 49% through the automatic route and the rest under the government route. FDI of up to 100% is also permitted for infrastructure providers offering dark fibre, electronic mail and voice mail.
  • Between April 2000 and March 2020 the FDI inflow into the Indian telecom sector was calculated to be US$ 37.27 billion.
  • In June 2020, Jio Platforms Ltd. sold 22.38% stake worth US$ 14.75 billion to ten global investors in the largest continuous fundraise by any company in the world.
  • In April 2020, Vodafone Group Plc infused US$ 217.05 million in Vodafone Idea to help the company manage its operations under the Vi (Vodafone-Idea) banner.
  • The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 envisaged attracting investment worth US$ 100 billion in the telecommunications sector by 2022. 

The Indian telecom sector with its world-class innovation, enormous market, strong forward and backward linkages along with diverse applications, presents a springboard from which a New India may leap towards infinite opportunities that the future holds.