Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India. Industry inputs for National Telecom Policy 2011

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1 Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India Industry inputs for National Telecom Policy 2011

2 2 Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

3 Foreword The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Ernst & Young have collaborated on this deep review of the telecoms sector in India. The National Telecom Policy 1999 (NTP 1999) has served the sector in India for well over a decade, in which time we have witnessed significant changes in the socioeconomic environment, technological advancements and business dynamics. The telecom industry in India is ready to take the next leap forward with new developments such as launch of third generation (3G) services by private operators, 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) auctions, launch of mobile number portability (MNP), and the emergence of mobile commerce (m-commerce). In the future, rural and semi-rural markets are expected to drive growth, especially in the wireless segment. The Ministry of Communications & Information Technology has released the 100-day agenda for the Indian telecom sector, and announced formulation of a new and comprehensive National Telecom Policy 2011 (NTP 11). Therefore, the time is ripe for a comprehensive review to build a forward looking and transparent policy that will be the backbone to achieve the India telecom vision This report focuses on specific areas where the Government of India (GoI) needs to intervene and move the policy to the next generation of reforms. It aims to capture developments witnessed in the telecom sector in the last decade and analyze historical performance to estimate growth over the next ten years. It includes inputs from stakeholders in the telecom industry, encompassing operators, telecom equipment manufacturers, infrastructure providers, industry associations and industry practitioners. We would like to extend our gratitude to the industry leaders who participated in the report and helped us to present the industry s perspective. Amit Mitra Virat Bhatia Prashant Singhal Secretary General Chairman Telecom Industry Leader FICCI, India FICCI Committee on Ernst & Young, India Communications and Digital Economy Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India iii

4 Executive summary The liberalization of the domestic economy and increasing integration with the global economy has positioned India as the second fastest expanding economy of the world. After embracing a closed, centralized economic model for four decades, India shifted to a market-oriented model. Liberalization initiatives, especially in the 1990s, resulted in an improved business climate and in an increase in investment across the country, boosting the industrial growth over the past decade. Indian telecom is an economic miracle in the making. Connecting such a vibrant economy of more than a billion people together and with the rest of the globe is an extraordinary achievement in terms of a nation s socioeconomic development. India has faced challenges in liberalizing its telecom industry from a monopoly to a decentralized competitive model. The announcement of the National Telecom Policy (NTP) in 1994 marked the first steps toward the new model. It aimed at making available telephone on demand, the provision of leading class services at reasonable prices, promoting India s emergence as a major manufacturing and export base of telecom equipment and universal availability of basic telecom services to all villages. In 1999, Government, recognizing the need to overhaul its policy framework, issued the NTP 1999, which had played a key role in shaping the sector. India has reached the goals set in NTP 1999 far ahead of time, with the market evolving into the world s second largest in terms of subscribers. Presently, there are more than 700 million subscribers in India, and the overall teledensity has reached more than 60%. With plenty of strong potential value remaining, the sector requires much attention and a robust policy framework to address the challenges that exist in the present scenario as well as help to capture the opportunities that the sector holds for the country. iv Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

5 The present challenges include the spectrum and licensing framework, Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) structure, broadband, equipment manufacturing, infrastructure segment, mergers and acquisitions scenario, taxation and aspects of foreign direct investment (FDI). The opportunities around which the policy initiatives need to be designed include financial inclusion, m-commerce and convergence. The major recommendations for the policy framework for the Indian telecom industry are as follows: Focus areas Licensing Recommendations Need to have a single universal license for all telecom services There should be a uniform fee structure across all telecom circles Pure internet service providers should continue to be allowed without payment of any license fees Provide a clear license renewal regime that includes legislation, renewal procedures, reasons for refusal to renew and appeals to regulatory decisions Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India v

6 Focus areas Spectrum USOF Broadband Mergers and acquisition Recommendations Need to re-farm available spectrum Spectrum up to contracted limit should be ensured as initial spectrum to the existing players Spectrum usage charge should be identified upfront at the time of spectrum allocation The USOF should be utilized for the following in rural and remote areas: Provision of public telecom and information services Provision of household telephones Creation of infrastructure for provision of mobile services Provision of broadband connectivity to villages in a phased manner Creation of general infrastructure for development of telecommunication facilities Induction of new technological developments in the telecom sector Subsidies should be distributed through transparent marketoriented allocation strategy Backhaul connectivity and optic fiber communication (OFC) should be provided to all telecom towers, base station controllers (BSCs) and base transceiver stations (BTS) from nearest block headquarters Make available more spectrum for wireless broadband Make broadband connectivity mandatory for all buildings to get completion certificate on the lines of water and power connectivity Create content and applications in regional languages to promote rural broadband Merger should not result in less than six operators in a circle The share of a merged entity should not be greater than 30% in terms of sub-base or adjusted gross revenue (AGR) vi Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

7 Focus areas Taxation Equipment manufacturing Telecom infrastructure Enterprise data FDI Recommendations The upcoming goods and service tax (GST) regime should aim to simplify the tax structure for the industry, with all services and goods being taxed at a standard rate Special consideration needs to be given on certain areas in the backdrop of the peculiarities of the telecom sector such as place of supply rules i.e., the state where GST will be paid for different kind of telecom services; ease in state-wise compliances There is a need to set up hardware manufacturing cluster parks (HMCP) across the country and upgrade localized infrastructure to support large volume contract manufacturing R&D should be the key focus Need to lay down a National Telecom Critical Infrastructure Policy on the lines of NTP 1999 elaborating uniform procedures for land acquisition, a uniform system of taxation and subsidies and other incentives designed to create an environment that encourages the build-out of the national telecom infrastructure and the increased participation of all stakeholders There is a need for a national right of way (ROW) policy for the rollout of backhaul network Upgrading encryption levels in international long distance (ILD) and national long distance (NLD) licenses to allow strong encryption of up to 256 bits to protect confidential information in accordance with international best practices Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Department of Telecommunications (DOT) should eliminate the cumulative assessment of licensing fees on the purchase of inputs, which imposes double taxation on ILD and NLD license holders Given the importance of foreign investment, the policy should consider raising the upper limit on foreign investment to encourage more foreign players to invest in the capex-intensive telecom sector Policies should also cover areas like financial inclusion, m-commerce, convergence, security concerns and consumer affordability. However, there is no unique, perfect model accepted globally which can be implemented in India and leading practices across the globe should be adopted for transforming the Indian telecom sector into the greatest possible success story. Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India vii

8 Methodology In 2010, Ernst & Young conducted a research study on the Indian telecom sector in collaboration with one of the leading business organizations in India FICCI. The study gives a detailed perspective on the telecom sector in India, outlining the phenomenal growth witnessed by the sector and recommendations for the existing policy framework that will enable the next level of growth. It examines the NTP 1999, which is used by the Government of India (GoI) as a decisionmaking guide for the Indian telecom sector. This report reflects the key conclusions of that wider study. The research program studies in detail all the key segments of the telecom landscape wireless, wireline, broadband, infrastructure, NLD, ILD, value-added services (VAS), equipment manufacturing, infrastructure and convergence. It identifies and evaluates the critical success factors that are applicable across all telecom segments such as spectrum, USOF, licensing framework, FDI, security, consumer affordability and the role of the regulator. As a part of the research program, Ernst & Young conducted comprehensive interviews with senior executives in the Indian telecom sector. These interviews provided a firsthand perspective on the opportunities and challenges faced by various stakeholders in the sector. These findings have been combined with secondary research, analysis and insights provided by Ernst & Young. viii

9 Syed Safawi President Reliance Communications Ltd. List of participants P Balaji Head of Communications, Corporate Affairs & Business Development, India Ericsson India Vsevolod Rozanov President and Chief Executive Officer Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. Virat Bhatia President, External Affairs, South Asia AT&T Communication Services India Pvt. Ltd. Mahendra Nahata Managing Director Himachal Futuristic Communication Shamik Das Chief Executive Officer S Tel Pvt. Ltd. TV Ramachandran Resident Director Vodafone Essar Rajan S. Mathews Director General Cellular Operators Association of India Rajat Mukarji Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Idea Cellular Ltd. Anil Sardana Managing Director Tata Teleservices Ltd. Sanjay Kapoor Chief Executive Officer Bharti Airtel (India & South Asia) Mahesh Uppal Director Com First (India) Pvt. Ltd. B S Shantharaju Chief Executive Officer Indus Towers Ltd. Lt. Col. HS Bedi, VSM Chairman and Managing Director Tulip Telecom Ltd. Ashok Sharma National Head Regulatory Aircel Ltd. Brijendra K Syngal Senior Principal Dua Consulting Pvt. Ltd. Parag Kar Senior Director Government Affairs Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd. Rajiv Mehrotra Chief Executive Officer Vihaan Networks Ltd. SC Khanna Secretary General Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India Himanshu Kapania Deputy Managing Director Idea Cellular CS Rao Head of Corporate Affairs and Regulatory Division Reliance Communications Naresh Ajwani Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Viom Networks Ltd. ix

10 Industry associations Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI): established in 1927, FICCI is one of the largest and oldest apex business organizations in India. It plays a leading role in policy debates that are at the forefront of Indian social, economic and political change. FICCI is active in 39 sectors of the economy, and its stand on policy issues is sought after by think tanks, governments and academia. The organizations publications are widely read for their in-depth research and policy prescriptions. Home to 400 professionals, it has joint business councils with 79 countries across the world. Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI): established in 1995, COAI is a registered, nonprofit, non-governmental society dedicated to the advancement of modern communication through the establishment of a world-class cellular infrastructure. Over the years, COAI has emerged as the official voice for the Indian GSM industry and interacts directly with ministries, policy-makers, regulators, financial institutions and technical bodies. It provides a forum for discussion and exchange of the ideas between these bodies and service providers, who share a common interest in the development of cellular mobile telephony. Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI): constituted in 1997, AUSPI is a registered society that works as a non-profit organization with the aim of delivering improved access, coverage and teledensity in India. AUSPI is the representative industry body of unified access service licensees providing CDMA and GSM mobile services, fixed line services and VAS across the country.

11 Association of Competitive Telecom Operators (ACTO): established in 2008, ACTO is an industry body that focuses on policies that enhance enterprise telecommunications in India. The association was formed by several leading non-integrated long-distance carriers that provide service to the enterprise market segment, which includes IT-enabled services, business process outsourcing and multinational company segments. Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI): founded in January 2004, IAMAI is an industry body representing the interests of online and mobile VAS industry. The association s activities include promoting the digital economy, evaluating and recommending industry standards and practices, conducting research, creating platforms for its members, communicating on behalf of the industry and helping to create a favorable business environment for the industry. Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA): established in 1990, TEMA is an industry association for telecom equipment manufacturers as well as component and cable manufacturers. It plays an active role in the dissemination and exchange of information among the GoI, foreign agencies, embassies, trade missions, Indian missions abroad and leading national and international trade associations. Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI): founded in 1998, ISPAI acts as a collective voice of the ISP community, with the mission of promoting internet for the benefit of all. It has helped in shaping telecom policies for ISPs and internet entrepreneurs to grow their services in a supportive and enabling environment. Other Service Providers Association of India (OSPAI): established in 2008, OSPAI is the representative industry body, functioning as an association of companies operating in areas such as domestic and international call centers, business process outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing, information technology (IT), medical transcription, financial services, tele-medicine, tele-education, tele-trading, billing services and network operating centers. It acts as an interface with government bodies for the growth of all services covered under the registration of other service providers.

12 Contents 1. Indian telecom sector Overview Importance of telecom 5 2. Evolution of the telecom sector in India History of the Indian telecom industry Regulatory framework Overview of the Indian telecom industry Wireless Wireline Internet and broadband subscribers National long distance and international long distance Telecom equipment manufacturing in India Infrastructure Value-added services Outlook Achievements and setbacks of NTP Key achievements of NTP Key challenges of NTP Key enablers Connected India: telecom vision Connected Indian: telecom mission Key enablers under existing scenario Licensing Spectrum 50 1 Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

13 4.3.3 Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) Broadband Mergers and acquisition Taxation Foreign direct investment (FDI) Consumer affordability and rural penetration Human resource Equipment manufacturing Telecom infrastructure Enterprise data Convergence Security Key enablers for potential opportunities m-commerce M2M communication Mobile money M-health M-education Financial inclusion MNREGA and UID Global practices 75 Conclusion 87 Glossary 89 Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India 2

14 Indian telecom sector 1.1. Overview Over the past two decades, India has grown rapidly from a command and control economy to a market-based economy. India is now closely integrated with the global economy and is considered one of the pillars of global economic growth. The process of liberalization started in the mid-1980s and gathered momentum in the 1990s, with the further opening of the economy and the creation of regulatory institutions to march toward fully competitive markets. As a result of liberalization, India s GDP has been rising by more than 7% 1 annually in the past decade, compared with 3.5% 2 annually from 1950 to The Indian economy maintained a growth rate of more than 5% even during the global recession. In FY10 (financial year ended 31 March 2010), India s service sector was estimated to account for 56.9% 3 of GDP, while the industrial sector and agriculture sector contributed 28.5% and 14.6%, respectively, to GDP. Within the services sector, the telecom sector has been the major contributor to India s growth, accounting for nearly 3.6% 4 of total GDP in FY10. In less than a decade, the mobile phone has been transformed from being a luxury that few could own into one of the essentials of an average Indian s existence. The easy access to mobile services is the outcome of positive regulatory changes, intense competition among multiple operators, low-priced handsets, low tariffs and significant investments in telecom infrastructure and networks. 1 India: Rising growth potential, DBS Group Research, 13 October Redefining The Hindu Rate Of Growth, The Financial Express,12 April 2004, accessed 19 October India s Macroeconomic Indicators, Export-Import Bank of India website, 26 August 2010, accessed 10 October India 2012: telecom growth continues, Ernst & Young report, November 2008, page 8. 3 Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

15 Indian telecom model Outsourcing non-core activities like IT, network Infrastructure sharing Paradigm shift from average revenue per user (ARPU) to revenue per min Focus on prepaid Low cost distribution, e-charge Economies of scale Low acquisition cost (no handset subsidy) Source: How can carriers make 40% EBIDTA margin at 2 cents/min tariff?, accessed 25 October Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India 4

16 1.2. Importance of telecom Telecommunication is pivotal to a country s socioeconomic growth. It is one of the main architects of the accelerated growth and progress of different segments of the economy. Narrowing access gaps and removing barriers to information dissemination are prerequisites for promoting equitable and sustainable development as well as political and social cohesion. Increasing connectivity is highly instrumental in improving governance, business communication, security, response to emergencies and in the overall strengthening of the sociocultural ethos of the country. The advantages of the advent of telecommunications are manifold and explicitly verifiable from the phenomenal success of the sector Economic growth Indian telecom has emerged as one of the greatest economic success stories, registering a consistent overall growth rate of more than 35% over the past decade in terms of subscribers. According to a World Bank study, a 10% 5 increase in teledensity is known to boost GDP growth by 0.6% points. In other words, a 1% increase in mobile subscribers is estimated to increase per capita GDP by about US$200. According to a study by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), states with a higher teledensity have grown faster than those with lower teledensity. States with 10% 6 higher teledensity have grown 1.2% faster; for instance, Bihar could have witnessed 4% faster growth if it had enjoyed the same teledensity as Punjab. The well-distributed network of telecommunication services results in widening markets, creates efficient information flows, lowers transaction costs and is an effective substitute for infeasible physical transport. There is a substantial relationship between increase in teledensity and the economic development of a region. Mobile telephony had a profound impact on the fishing community in the southern state of Kerala. By virtue of being a carrier and disseminator of information, mobile telephony has made the rural and underdeveloped markets much more efficient. The MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), a government organization, has partnered with a leading telecom equipment and service provider to provide Fisher friend, through which fishermen are provided free mobile handsets, shared on a rotating basis, along with free access to information service. The usage of mobile phones has enabled fishermen to respond quickly to market demand and prevent wastage. Mobiles have helped to co ordinate demand and supply, and have helped those who catch the fish communicate with merchants and transporters in an efficient and effective manner. It has helped to reduce the time spent by agents and owners waiting for boats, reduced business risk and made those involved with fishing feel much safer at sea. 5 Unfinished Business: Mobilizing new efforts to achieve the 2015 millennium development goals, World Bank, September 2010, page Samar Srivastava, High-teledensity states grew faster, says study, LiveMint, 19 January 2009,http://www.livemint.com/2009/01/ / Highteledensity-states-grew-f.html, accessed 10 October Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

17 1.2.2 Job creation Besides being one of the largest revenue generators, telecom is also a major creator of jobs. The telecom sector has led to the growth of a range of communication technology-enabled activities and services. Operations such as data entry, revenue accounting, processing of insurance claims, human resource services, call center operations, customer support centers, software development, systems engineering and systems design and integration are popular examples. Further, the spread of telecom and information services to rural areas is enabling the setup of rural business process outsourcing (BPO) Social development Connectivity fosters social development, including improved education, health and increased citizen participation in civil society. Telecommunication helps provide access to health care and allied services. It helps combat epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and malaria by supplying information on treatment and control, generating awareness, improving access to and connectivity with health centers, and establishing the mobile testing of diseases. The current synergy between health reform initiatives and advantages in technologies has resulted in the proliferation of e-medicine projects. This represents an innovative approach in providing quality health care whenever and wherever needed Rural development According to FICCI and Nielsen study, Indian villages account for 70% 7 of the country s total population, 56% of the country s income, 64% of consumption expenditure and 33% of national savings. The provision of telecom services in rural areas and the obscure hinterland has made previously abandoned areas highly accessible. With more untapped territories being connected through telecom, the hitherto dormant economic potential is being increasingly tapped. Communication facilities in rural areas are critical for the development of rural India, providing the following advantages: RuralShores: bringing jobs to rural India Over the years, the lack of employment opportunities in rural India has forced people belonging to villages to move to the cities. However, RuralShores is an initiative that aims to reverse the trend. It aims to introduce rural youth to BPO and to provide employment in their village. In return, corporations benefit through cost-effectiveness due to the lower costs associated with a rural ecosystem, low employee attrition and the potential for scalability. Participation in the initiative is an act of corporate social responsibility. Moreover, it ensures complete information protection, guaranteed service levels, a committed workforce and business continuity. Helping to stem urban migration by generating greater income and employment potential in rural areas Facilitating emergency response and access to health care and allied services Facilitating m commerce and e-commerce through trade along the agriculture supply chain, resulting in the organized aggregation of supply and demand Providing enhancement of microfinancing, technology transfer and entrepreneurship Facilitating national and regional integration, creating an atmosphere of economic diversification, employment and a strong socio-cultural ethos Open rural areas to foreign investment, leading to the inclusion of rural India in the global economic milieu and reducing the rural-urban divide. As a result, the quality of life in rural area improves, thus reducing the pressure of urban migration 7 Challenges Before An Integrated India: Bridging The Urban - Rural Divide, Nielsen, August 2010, page 13. Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India 6

18 1.2.5 E-governance E-governance that helps exploit the power of information and communication technology to transform accessibility, quality and the cost-effectiveness of public services has been made possible by the telecom revolution. Since the advent of IT and communication technology, Indian ministries and government departments are working to computerize their operations to make them simpler and increasingly accessible for Indian citizens. Most relevant information about these entities is now available on their websites, making it easily accessible and increasing transparency. Significant progress has been made in the computerization of railway bookings, allocation of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) to income tax payers, processing of passport application, conduct of public examination and customs clearance, among others. The four main types of e-governance services provided are as follows: Government to citizen (G2C): this comprises information dissemination to the public, as well as basic citizen services such as license renewals, ordering of birth/death/marriage certificates and filing of income taxes, as well as citizen assistance for basic services such as education, health care, hospital information and libraries. Government to business (G2B): this entails services between government and the business community, including the dissemination of policies, memos, rules and regulations. Business services offered include obtaining current business information, downloading application forms, renewing licenses, registering businesses, obtaining permits and the payment of taxes. The services offered through G2B transactions also assist in business development, specifically the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Simplifying the application and approval procedures process for SME requests would encourage business development. Government to employee (G2E): this includes G2C services as well as specialized services that cover only government employees, such as the provision of human resource training and development that could improve the day-to-day functions of the bureaucracy and dealings with citizens. Government to government (G2G): these services take place at two levels the local or domestic level and the international level. G2G services are transactions between the central/national and local governments, and between the departments and their agencies and bureaus. On a global footing, G2G services are transactions between governments, and can be used as an instrument of international relations and diplomacy Strengthening investments Attractive trade and investment policies have transformed the Indian telecom sector into one of the most investorfriendly markets. Between FY00 and FY10, the inflow of FDI into India s telecom sector was approximately INR407.1 billion (US$8.9 billion), 8 accounting for more than 8% of approved FDI Gender equality The advent of communications technology has helped overcome institutional and social barriers of mobility, high illiteracy and negative social norms. It is facilitating women s participation in the political and economic processes of the country. Achieving gender equality and empowering women is crucial because of its cross-cutting influence. It is an irreplaceable component for achieving most developmental goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. Mobile telephones and the internet can advance gender equality by: Empowering women and surmounting gender inequality: this is being achieved by promoting the awareness among women about their social and political status, and creating new economic opportunities for women through digital empowerment. Delivering literacy and education to women wherever they live or work: this opens up new avenues and allows for flexible learning times. One prime success story of communication technology promoting women s education is India s Distance education for women s development and empowerment jointly run by the Department of Women and Child Development 8 Fact Sheet on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from August 1991 to March 2010, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, accessed 10 October Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

19 and the Indira Gandhi National Open University. This program provides a multimedia training package to make women s self-help groups sustainable by developing their decision-making ability and resource management skills in 150 low-literacy districts. This is one of the most befitting instances of the telecom and internet revolution, taking relevant education that is well aligned to the needs of the communities to their doorstep, thus overcoming cultural and language barriers. Helping lower child mortality and improve maternal health: this is done by providing information on nutrition, strengthening health networks, monitoring health trends and provisioning primary health care m commerce This is the next revolution that is expected to emerge through the use of mobile phones, as these become a tool for commerce. Mobile phones provide consumers an opportunity to transact anytime and anywhere. m-commerce finds its applications across various end markets such as banking and financial institutions, paying bills for utilities such as power and gas, booking tickets for transportation services such as trains and taxis and online shopping. Mobile banking enables customers of banks and other financial institutions to access their account information, transfer funds, trade stocks and purchase financial products such as insurance. According to Cybermedia India Online Limited, the value of mobile payment transactions in India is expected to reach approximately US$1.3 billion by Facilitating research and development The growth in high-speed communication and advances in internet technology are making India a major R&D hub. Efforts are constantly being made to devise more affordable technology for the masses. In India, there is a significant focus on technology with the potential to improve rural connectivity. NTP 1999, formulated by the GoI, places great emphasis on research and development (R&D). In pursuance of the NTP 1999 s objective toward R&D, organizations such as Telecom Centers of Excellence (TCOE), the Center of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWIT) and the Broadband Wireless Consortium of India (BWCI) have been established. These organizations have helped to create synergy among academia, the telecom industry and the Government for the creation of new services and applications, the generation of intellectual property right (IPR), the development of manufacturing capability, focus on global telecom standardization activities and the promotion of entrepreneurship. For instance, the TCOEs have focused on the technological and management challenges that Indian operators face in reaching all sections of society while offering affordable solutions, leading class services and a global presence Provide impetus to initiatives such as MNREGA and Aadhaar The GoI has undertaken programs such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) and AadhaaR Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which aim to provide inclusive growth. The challenges surrounding these programs include job cards for those demanding work, the elimination of ghost workers, the introduction of electronic muster rolls, wage payments and the authorization of wages electronically. Furthermore, the introduction of GPS-enabled biometric systems at the grass-roots level continues to remain a challenge. The integration of such programs with mobile telephony is expected to benefit such programs of national importance. For instance, an integrated system for taking biometric attendance through handheld devices and transmitting it through mobile phones for authentication is expected to solve the challenge of attendance. Once a worker has logged in, this data could be transmitted to MNREGA, making sure the worker is paid for the day. 9 Nokia to rollout mobile banking in India, CyberMedia India Online Ltd., 14 April 2010, accessed 12 October Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India 8

20 Evolution of the 2 telecom sector in India 9 Enabling the next wave of telecom growth in India

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