Digitalisation & Data Protection – Changing Landscape of Indian Telecom Sector

Saswata Dhar, Executive Vice President Legal & Country Counsel, Vodafone India Ltd, India

The telecommunications sector in India is witnessing rapid changes through consolidation and an increase in the number of subscribers with significantly higher data usage across country, in recent times. The Government of India (GOI) policy on Digital India initiative and e- governance is a paradigm shift towards provisioning of secure, affordable and high quality telecommunication services to all citizens, and leveraging telecom infrastructure to enable e-governance for an equitable and inclusive development across the nation. The key focus being on increasing rural tele-density from a level of 39% in 2012 to 100% by year 2020, the NTP sets the vision of ‘broadband for all’, achieving 600 million broadband subscriptions by 2020 .The Telecom Sector has therefore emerged as one of the key driver of economic and social development in India. This coupled with the high population and demographic pattern of India with one of the largest young population in the world, there shall be data consumption for various purposes such as music, video and HD streaming, social networking, financial transactions etc.` there shall be both demand side pull and supply side push making India the fastest growing market for the data consumption.

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India Data Protection Telecommunications August 2018 Vol.11, No. 44, Summer 2018

Saswata Dhar

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Indian Telecom Laws & Data protection laws, Judicial Precedents , research papers and news paper reports.

Vodafone India Ltd

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Vodafone India is a 100% fully owned subsidiary of the Vodafone Group Plc. with operations across the country serving over 210 million customers (over 114 million in rural areas),. Commencing operations in 2007, Vodafone is today India’s largest foreign direct investor, is presently the 2nd largest telecom operator in India , with a robust, award winning business and committed for the long term. Vodafone Business Services serves the needs of enterprises and government by providing total telecommunications (Voice and Data) solutions across mobility and wireline platforms. Our mobile wallet, M-Pesa is a unique and innovative money transfer service from Vodafone that fosters financial inclusion. Committed to optimizing the near ubiquitous reach of mobile telephony to address national developmental priorities, the Vodafone Foundation partners is actively engaged in community development initiatives especially in the domains of m-Women, m-Agriculture, m-Education and Disaster Relief. Building on its global experience and expertise, an outreach across India and offering a comprehensive portfolio of technologies- 2G, 3G & 4G, Vodafone is uniquely positioned to actualize the vision of Digital India. Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 45 more, and fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. As of 31 March 2018, Vodafone Group had 535.8 million mobile customers and 19.7 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com

India Data Protection Telecommunications August 2018 Vol.11, No. 44, Summer 2018