Telecommunication companies in India

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The Communication Companies in India are on the ever rising trend and there has been a stupendous growth in this sector over the last decade. The telecommunication industry in India is one of the rapidly growing industries in the world and has also developed the second largest communication network.

Growth in the Indian Telecom Sector

The state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the pioneer in the telecom market of India.

The Indian telecommunication policies were further modified to introduce more private telecom players in the market. Several private companies as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular joined the Indian market. As of the figures of March, 2011, the mobile phone sector in India registered 20.21 million numbers of new users a month. The overall density in the telephone sector has increased to 70.89% as indicated by the recent figures of March 2011.

Major Telecom Companies in India

  • In 1975, the Department of Telecom (DoT) was given separate authority for running the telephone services in the country.
  • The Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)initiated its services in the year 1985 for carrying out the telephone operations in the metros of India, viz. Delhi and Mumbai.
  • In October 2000, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was set up by the Department of Telecom.
  • Thereafter several private companies as Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Airtel etc in the sector came up.

Telecom Sector Policies

  • A Communication Convergence Bill was introduced in the Parliament in 2001.
  • Unrestricted entry is allowed in National Long Distance Service (NLD)
  • Also the International Long Distance Services (ILDS) have been kept opened.
  • Cellular operators have the permission of providing all types of service, as voice and non voice messages, data services etc.
  • The New Telecom Policy revised in 1999 encourages participation of private companies in services as Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) Service, digital Public Mobile Trunked Service (PMRTS) and Voice Mail/ Audiotex/ Unified Messaging Services.
  • To fulfill Universal Service Obligation (USO) funding and administration, several measures are being taken.
  • To initiate Community Phone Service, an announcement has been made.
  • Guidelines regarding the Multiple Fixed Service Providers (FSPs) have been announced.
  • For establishing International Internet Gateways, which include both Satellite and Landing Stations, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been permitted.
  • The Government of India also has set up various guidelines to establish Internet telephony (IP).

Major Mobile Phone Service Provider Companies in India

The major players in the mobile phone service industry are enlisted as:


The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, country’s largest cellular service operator was set up in the year 2000. It is a state owned telecom company with its headquarters located in New Delhi. BSNL is also the largest land line telephone establishment in India. As of April, 2011 87.1 million users have been reported to be BSNL users.


Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) was set up in the year 1985, to run telecom operations in the major metro cities of India, Mumbai and Delhi. Its headquarters are based in Mumbai. MTNL was the first company in India to initiate 3G services in India, having the brand name of “MTNL 3G Jadoo Services” which provided options as Video call, Mobile TV, Mobile Broadband etc to the customers.


Also known as Bharti Airtel Limited was started in July 1995, with its head office based in New Delhi. Airtel runs its operations in as many as 19 countries across the world and is also ranked fifth as telecom service provider globally. As of April 2011, figures show that Airtel has over 164.61 million users which make it the biggest mobile service operator in India. Its service includes both 2G and 3G facilities.

Reliance Communications

Also known as RCOM was set up in 2004, with its head office in Navi Mumbai. Reliance Communications as of now has more than 128 million users all across the world.


Aircel was founded in 1999, with its head office in New Delhi. It is a joint enterprise between Maxis Communications and the Apollo Hospitals.

Vodafone Essar

Vodafone Essar was founded in 1994 with its head office at Mumbai. Vodafone provides services to 23 telecom circles across India.

Tata Indicom

The Tata Teleservices was founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Navi Mumbai.

Idea Cellular

Idea Cellular was started in 1995, with its head office in Mumbai. It also provides 3G services to its subscribers.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile started its services in India in 2008, March. It is a U.K. based company.


This Company is a joint venture between Telenor Group and Unitech Group and was started in 2009.