The inception of Telecom sector in India can be traced back to the commencement of telegraph network in India. Telegraph was probably the first mode of communication which laid down the foundation for the evolution of the existing telecommunication sector in India. In numbers India’s telecommunication sector is third largest in the world with 621 million connections.[i]
National Telecom Policy 1994 (NTP)- The Policy focused on objectives like including availability of telephone on demand, provision of world class services at reasonable price, promoting exports, improving India’s competitiveness in globally, increase in foreign investments, attracting FDI and reach of telecom services in remote areas. Later on the NTP Policy, 1994 was revamped by the New Telecom Policy, 1999 which envisaged several reforms in the sector like affordable communication system, telecommunication facilities in remote and hilly areas. With the framing of this Policy, the Government of India recognized the importance of telecommunications for the development nation’s Information Technology industry and also for widespread ramifications on the entire economy of the country.
Thereafter, in view of privatization and liberalization a need was felt for the establishment of an independent regulatory body and accordingly the Government formulated the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 which provided for the establishment of TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).