India represents one
of the world's largest, underdeveloped telecom markets, with a strong, high-consumption
middle-class population of around 300 mn.
With a capacity of 32.6
mn lines and 26.5 mn working connections, India's telecommunication network
ranks among the top 15 national networks in the world.
The current all-India
telephone density in India is 2.8 telephone lines per 100 persons compared
nearly 50 per 100 in the US, 10 per 100 in Brazil, and the global average
of 11 per 100. India's teledensity is likely to touch only three per 100 by
the end of 2002.
The Department of Telecommunication
(DoT), now known as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), is India's single largest
provider of telecom services.
The telecom sector is
now witnessing renewed interest, with the government initiating steps to improve
infrastructure and increase the penetration rate.