TATA GROUP IN COMMUNICATIONS
Communications is among the Tata Group's larger investments, with over $7.5 billion already committed. The Group's objective is to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions for business and residential customers across the nation and internationally. The Group's communications activities are currently spread primarily over four companies-Tata Teleservices Limited, its associate Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited, Tata Communications (erstwhile VSNL) and Tata Sky. Together, these companies cover the full range of communications services, including:
- Telephony Services: Fixed and Mobile
- Media & Entertainment Services: Satellite TV
- Data Services: Leased Lines, Managed Data Networks, IP/MPLS VPN, Dial-up Internet, Wi-Fi and Broadband
- Value-added Services: Mobile and Broadband Content/Applications, Calling Cards, Net Telephony and Managed Services
- Infrastructure Services: Submarine Cable Bandwidth, Terrestrial Fiber Network and Satellite Earth Stations and VSAT Connectivity
Tata Teleservices Limited spearheads the Tata Group’s presence in the telecom sector. The Tata Group includes over 100 companies, over 450,000 employees worldwide and more than 3.8 million shareholders.
Incorporated in 1996, Tata Teleservices Limited was the pioneer of the CDMA 1x technology platform in India, embarking on a growth path after the acquisition of Hughes Tele.com (India) Ltd [renamed Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited] by the Tata Group in 2002. Over the last few years, the company has launched significant services CDMA mobile operations in January 2005 under the brand name Tata Indicom, market-defining wireless mobile broadband services under the brand name Tata Photon in 2008 and 2G GSM services under the brand name Tata DOCOMO in 2009.
Tata Teleservices Limited also has a significant presence in the 2G GSM space, through its joint venture with NTT DOCOMO of Japan, and offers differentiated products and services. Tata DOCOMO was born after Tata Group’s strategic alliance with Japanese telecom major NTT DOCOMO in November 2008. Tata DOCOMO received a pan-India license to operate GSM telecom services and rolled out GSM services in all the 18 telecom Circles where it received spectrum from the Government of India in the quick span of just over a year.
One of the key milestones in October 2011 was the brand integration exercise at TTL, which saw the Company’s many brands being consolidated under its single flagship brand, Tata DOCOMO. This helped TTL leverage the benefits of brand synergies and capitalize on its vast retail and distribution network, which is the largest amongst all private telecom operators in the country.
Tata DOCOMO marks a significant milestone in the Indian telecom landscape, and has already redefined the very face of telecoms in India, being the first to pioneer the per-second tariff option part of its ‘Pay for What You Use’ pricing paradigm.
Tata Teleservices Limited also became the first Indian private telecom operator to launch 3G services in India under with the launch of services in November 2010 in all nine telecom Circles where the company bagged the 3G license. In association with its partner NTT DOCOMO, the Company finds itself favorably positioned to leverage this first-mover advantage. With 3G, Tata DOCOMO has begun to redefine the very face of telecoms in India. Tokyo-based NTT DOCOMO is one of the world’s leading mobile operators in Japan, the company is the clear market leader, used by nearly 55 per cent of the country’s mobile phone users.
TTL entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Indian retail giant Future Group to offer mobile telephony services under a new brand name T24, on the GSM platform. Tata Teleservices also has a strategic tie up with Virgin Mobile that primarily caters to youth segment offering mobility services on both CDMA and GSM platform.
Tata Teleservices is the undisputed market leader in the fixed wireless telephony market amongst private operators. In the wireless mobility space, the company in the past has been rated as the ‘Least Congested Network’ in India for eight consecutive quarters by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India through independent surveys.
Today, Tata Teleservices, along with Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited, has a reach in more than 450,000 towns and villages across the country, with a bouquet of telephony services encompassing Mobile Services, Wireless Desktop Phones, Public Booth Telephony and Wireline Services.
In December 2008, Tata Teleservices announced a unique reverse equity swap strategic agreement between its telecom tower subsidiary, Wireless TT Info-Services Limited, and Quippo Telecom Infrastructure Limited with the combined entity kicking off operations with 18,000 towers, thereby becoming the largest independent entity in this space and with the highest tenancy ratios in the industry. Today, the combined entity which has been re-christened as VIOM Networks has a portfolio of nearly 60,000 towers.
The company in the recent past has won many awards. TTSL was named The Best Emerging Markets Carrier by Telecom Asia, and received 8 awards at the World HRD Conference, including 5th Best Employer in India. The company also received 3 awards at the Telecom Operator Awards 2010 from Tele.net; Best Company, CEO of the Year and Best Quality of Service, and Business Standard award for 'Most Innovative Brand of the Year'. Tata DOCOMO was recently recognized as the best “Utility VAS Service Provider” and “Best Mobile Broadband Service Provider” for the year 2012 by Frost & Sullivan.