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TELECOMMUNICATION - The word telecommunication was adapted from the French word telecommunication.

It is a compound of the Greek prefix meaning 'far off', and the Latin communicates, meaning 'to tele-, share'.

Telecommunication is the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. In modern times, this process almost always involves the sending of electromagnetic waves by electronic transmitters but in earlier years it may have involved the use of smoke signals, drums or semaphore. Today, telecommunication is widespread and devices that assist the process, such as the television, radio and telephone, are common in many parts of the world. There is also a vast array of networks that connect these devices, including computer networks, public telephone networks, radio networks and television networks. Computer communication across the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging, is just one of many examples of telecommunication. The basic elements of a telecommunication system are:

a transmitter that takes information and converts it to a signal for


a transmission medium over which the signal is transmitted a receiver that receives and converts the signal back into usable
information. Often telecommunication systems are two-way and devices act as both a transmitter and receiver or transceiver. For example, a mobile phone is a transceiver. Telecommunication over a phone line is called point-to-point communication because it is b/w one transmitter and one receiver,

telecommunication through radio broadcasts is called broadcast comm. unication because it is between one powerful transmitter and numero us receivers.

A collection of transmitters, receivers or transceivers that communicate with each other is known as a network. Digital networks may consist of one or more routers that route data to the correct user. An analogue network may consist of one or more switches that establish a connection between two or more users. For both types of network, a repeater may be necessary to amplify or recreate the signal when it is being transmitted over long distances. This is to combat attenuation that can render the signal indistinguishable from noise. The shaping of a signal to convey information is known as modulation. Modulation is a key concept in telecommunications and is frequently used to impose the information of one signal on another. Modulation is used to represent a digital message as an analogue waveform. This is known as keying and several keying techniques exist these include phase-shift keying, frequency-shift keying, amplitude-shift keying and minimum-shift keying. Bluetooth, for example, uses phase-shift keying for exchanges between devices.

Telecom Industry in India

The telecom industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India. India has nearly 200 million telephone lines making it the third largest network in the world after China and USA. With a growth rate of 45%, Indian telecom industry has the highest growth rate in the world. Much of the growth in Asia Pacific Wireless Telecommunication Market is spurred by the growth in demand in countries like India and China.

Indias mobile phone subscriber base is growing at a rate of 82.2%. China is the biggest market in Asia Pacific with a subscriber base of 48% of
the total subscribers in Asia Pacific. Compared to that India s share in Asia Pacific Mobile Phone market is 6.4%. Considering the fact that India and

China have almost comparable populations, Indias low mobile penetration offers huge scope for growth.

History of Indian Telecommunications Started in 1851 when the first operational land lines were laid by the government near Calcutta (seat of British power). Telephone services were introduced in India in 1881. In 1883 telephone services were merged with the postal system. Indian Radio Telegraph Company (IRT) was formed in 1923. After independence in 1947, all the foreign telecommunication companies were nationalized to form the Posts, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT), a monopoly run by the governments, Ministry of Communications.

Telecom sector was considered as a strategic service and the government considered it best to bring under state's control. The first wind of reforms in telecommunications sector began to flow in 1980s when the private sector was allowed in telecommunications equipment manufacturing. In 1985, Department of Telecommunications (DOT) was established. It was an exclusive provider of domestic and long-distance service that would be its own regulator (separate from the postal system). In 1986, two wholly government-owned companies were created: the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) for international telecommunications and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for service in metropolitan areas.

In 1990s, telecommunications sector benefited from the general opening up of the economy. Also, examples of telecom revolution in many other countries, which resulted in better quality of service and lower tariffs, led Indian policy makers to

initiate a change process finally resulting in opening up of telecom services sector for the private sector. National Telecom Policy (NTP)1994 was the first attempt to give a comprehensive roadmap for the Indian telecommunications sector. In 1997, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was created. TRAI was formed to act as a regulator to facilitate the growth of the telecom sector. New National Telecom Policy was adopted in 1999 and cellular services were also launched in the same year.

Telecommunication sector in India can be divided into two segments: Fixed Service Provider (FSPs), and Cellular Services. Fixed line services consist of basic services, national or domestic long distance and international long distance Services. The state operators (BSNL and MTNL), account for almost 90 per cent of revenues from basic services. Private sector services are presently available in selective urban areas, and collectively account for less than 5 per cent of subscriptions. However, private services focus on the business/corporate sector, and offer reliable, high- end services, such as leased lines, ISDN, closed user group and videoconferencing.

Cellular services can be further divided into two categories: Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). The GSM sector is dominated by Airtel, Vodfone-Hutch, and Idea Cellular, while the CDMA sector is dominated by Reliance and Tata Indicom. Opening up of international and domestic long distance telephony services are the major growth drivers for cellular industry. Cellular operators get substantial revenue from these services, and compensate them for reduction in tariffs on airtime, which along with rental was the main source of revenue. The reduction in tariffs for airtime, national long distance, international long distance, and handset prices has driven demand.

Milestones in Telecom Reforms

1984 Manufacturing of subscriber terminal equipment opened to private sector. 1985 Telecom was constituted into a separate department with a separate board. 1986 MTNL and VSNL created as corporations. 1988 Government introduces in-dialing scheme. PABX services only within a
building, or in adjoining buildings. 1989 Telecom Commission formed. 1991 Telecom equipment manufacturing opened to private sector. Major international players like Alcatel, AT&T, Ericsson, Fujitsu, and Siemens entered equipment manufacturing market. 1992 VAS sector opened for private competition. 1993 Private networks allowed in industrial areas. 1994 Licenses for radio paging (27 cities) issued. May 1994 New Telecom Policy announced. September 1994 Broad guidelines for private operator entry into basic services announced. November 1994 Licenses for cellular mobiles for four metros issued.

December 1994 Tenders floated for bids in cellular mobile services in 19

circles, excluding the four metros, on a duopoly basis. January 1995 Tenders floated for second operator in basic services on a circle basis. July 1995 Cellular tender bid opened. August 1995 Basic service tender bid opened; the bids caused lot of controversy. A majority of bids were considered low. December 1995 LOIs issued to some operators for cellular mobile operations in circles. January 1996 Rebidding takes place for basic services in thirteen circles. Poor response. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) formed by ordinance. October 1996 LOIs being issued for basic services. March 1997 The TRAI Act passed in Parliament. June 1998 Several VASs available through private operators. The first private basic service becomes operational. March 1999 Announcement of National Telecom Policy. January 2000 Amendment to the TRAI Act. August 2000 Announcement of Domestic Long Distance Competition Policy. October 2000 Planned Corporatization of DoT.