With a subscriber base of nearly 1,210.71 million, as of July 2017, India is accounted for the 2nd largest telecom network in the world and has registered strong growth in the past decade and a half. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly and will contribute substantially to India’s Gross Domestic Product as the country is the fourth largest app economy in the world. The liberal and reformist policies of the Government of India have been instrumental along with strong consumer demand in the rapid growth in the Indian telecom sector. The government has enabled easy market access to telecom equipment and a fair and proactive regulatory framework that has ensured availability of telecom services to the consumer at affordable prices. The deregulation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms has made the sector one of the fastest growing and a top five employment opportunity generator in the country. It is estimated that the Indian telecom sector is expected to generate four million direct and indirect jobs over the next five. The employment opportunities are expected to be created due to a combination of government’s initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, and Smart City Projects etc. to increase penetration in rural areas and the rapid increase in smartphone sales and rising internet usage.
FICCI’s ICT and Digital Economy Committee have been working extensively with several stakeholders across industry verticals and has contributed immensely towards the sustainable growth and development of the Telecom sector of India. With prime focus on prevailing major issues and policy matters of the Telecom sector, the committee has been working proactively alongside Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, and other stakeholders, playing a significant role in the further advancement of next-generation reforms while steadfastly adopting and disseminating best practices in the field of telecommunications. The committee has also been playing a phenomenal role in bridging the digital divide in the country, identifying the competitiveness and potential areas of cooperation in the global market. One of the recent and best examples of Communications and Digital Economy Committee’s commitment towards policy reforms in telecommunications is its active participation and involvement in the drafting of National Telecom Policy 2018. Various sub-committees have also been formed under the Communications and digital economy committee which play an active role in assisting the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India, and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the process of policy and official guideline formulation in the areas like spectrum and licensing, Internet and Access, new technologies, policy reforms, M2M, IoT, broadband and digital infrastructure, devices, ISP, Cyber Security etc.