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Behind the scenes of the telecommunications miracle: An empirical analysis of the Indian market


  • Biancini, Sara


The paper analyzes the demand and supply characteristics of the Indian telecommunications market, with the aim of contributing to the debate on the effectiveness of universal access policies in developing countries. The discussion is supported by some empirical evidence derived from a small time-series-cross-section dataset, containing mainly information on the fixed-lines segment of the market. The analysis suggests that the price elasticity of demand for fixed lines might be sensibly higher than the levels usually found in developed countries, while the crucial role of income and other sociodemographic variables seems to be confirmed. The paper also studies the impact of cellular penetration on fixed-lines diffusion. The results suggest the existence of a (positive) network effect in low penetration areas, while substitution (displacement) seems to arise in the most developed ones. Finally, the paper analyzes the supply side of the market, to assess the impact of market competition on investment. Competition seemingly helps stimulating investment in the most developed areas, but does not seem to have a significant impact in the less developed ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Biancini, Sara, 2011. "Behind the scenes of the telecommunications miracle: An empirical analysis of the Indian market," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 238-249, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:238-249

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars-Hendrik Roller & Leonard Waverman, 2001. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 909-923, September.
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    8. Hausman, Jerry & Tardiff, Timothy & Belinfante, Alexander, 1993. "The Effects of the Breakup of AT&T on Telephone Penetration in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 178-184, May.
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    14. Eriksson, Ross C & Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1998. "Targeted and Untargeted Subsidy Schemes: Evidence from Postdivestiture Efforts to Promote Universal Telephone Service," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 477-502, October.
    15. Gruber, Harald & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "The diffusion of mobile telecommunications services in the European Union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 577-588, March.
    16. Robert Jensen, 2007. "The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 879-924.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ünver, Mehmet Bilal & Göktaylar, Yavuz & Tezel, Fatih, 2015. "Regulatory Implications of FMS for Voice Services in Turkey: Analysis of Recent Regulatory Acts on Deregulation and Margin Squeeze," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127186, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).

    More about this item


    Telecommunications demand Universal service Competition Developing countries India;

    JEL classification:

    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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