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Topic : Bridging Distances: Understanding World Telecommunication Day

GS-3 Mains : Economy

Revision Notes

What is World Telecommunication Day?

  • Celebrated annually on May 17th.
  • Marks the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1865 (coinciding with the first Indian Telegraph Convention).
  • 2023’s theme: “Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development.”

India’s Telecommunication Landscape

  • World’s 2nd largest market with over 1.19 billion telephone subscribers.
  • 2nd largest internet user base globally.
  • Overall tele-density of 85.69% (urban: 133.72%, rural: 59.19%).
  • 4th largest sector for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows (6% of total FDI).

Growth Drivers

  • Affordable tariffs.
  • Wider network availability.
  • Mobile Number Portability (MNP).
  • Expanding 3G/4G coverage.
  • Evolving consumer preferences.
  • Government initiatives for domestic telecom manufacturing.
  • Favorable regulatory environment.


  • Regulations:Changes in policies, spectrum pricing, and licensing affect operations and investments.
  • Infrastructure Development:Gaps persist, especially in rural and remote areas (terrain, electricity, infrastructure limitations).
  • Competition and Pricing:Intense competition leads to price wars and lower profit margins for companies.
  • Quality of Service:Maintaining consistent service quality, particularly in urban areas, remains a challenge (call drops, network congestion, slow internet speeds).
  • Cybersecurity:Protecting networks, customer data, and infrastructure from cyber threats is crucial.
  • Technological Advancements:Keeping pace with advancements like 5G requires significant investments in infrastructure upgrades. Balancing these investments with revenue generation is a challenge.

Boosting India’s Telecommunication Landscape: Key Government Initiatives

The Indian government actively supports the telecommunication sector through various initiatives:

  • Digital India Programme (2015):Aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society. Initiatives include:
    • Broadband connectivity to all villages.
    • Promotion of e-governance.
    • Improved digital literacy.
  • BharatNet:World’s largest rural broadband program, bridging the urban-rural digital divide.
  • Infrastructure Development:Government investments focus on:
    • Optical fiber networks.
    • Mobile towers.
    • Rural broadband connectivity.
    • Improved service quality.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Initiative:Promotes domestic manufacturing of:
    • Telecom equipment.
    • Reduces import dependence.
    • Boosts domestic telecom industry growth.
  • R&D Incentives:Encourage research and development in:
    • Indigenous technologies.
    • Telecom sector innovations.
    • Tax breaks and grants offered.
  • Ease of Doing Business Reforms:Attract investments and foster growth by:
    • Streamlining regulatory processes.
    • Reducing paperwork.
    • Digitizing services.

These initiatives showcase the government’s dedication to:

  • Telecommunication sector growth.
  • Digital inclusion.
  • Leveraging technology for socio-economic progress.

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