COAI was constituted in 1995 as a registered, non-governmental society. The Association is dedicated to the advancement of modern communication through the establishment of world-class mobile infrastructure, products and services and to delivering the benefits of innovative and affordable mobile communication services to the people of India.
Over the years COAI has emerged as the official voice for the Indian telecom industry and interacts directly with Ministries, Policy Makers, Regulators, Financial Institutions and Technical Bodies. It provides a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas between these bodies and the Service Providers, who share a common interest in the development of mobile telephony in the country. COAI collaborates with other Industry Associations such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, AUSPI, ISPAI, VSAT association etc., with the objective of presenting an industry consensus view to the Government on crucial issues relating to the growth and development of the Indian telecom Industry.
COAI’s core membership includes private cellular operators, namely - Aircel Ltd., Bharti Airtel Ltd., Idea Cellular Ltd., Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, Telenor (India) Communications Private Limited, Videocon Telecom and Vodafone India Ltd. operating across the whole country.
Having started as an Association for mobile service providers, COAI has today expanded to be a thought leader in the telecom and broadband industry, with members including cellular service providers, telecom infrastructure players, and telecom equipment manufacturers; and still expanding to include other allied and critical stakeholders of the sector.
COAI’s present Associate Members include – Alcatel Lucent India Ltd., Cisco Systems India Pvt. Ltd., Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd., Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd., IBM India Pvt. Ltd, GTL Infrastructure Ltd., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Indus Towers Ltd, Intel Corporation, Nokia Networks, Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd. and ZTE India Pvt. Ltd.
Further, COAI has dedicated itself towards the training of skilled manpower to ensure efficient and optimum utilization of human resources to the industry. COAI has played a major role in the setting up and operations of the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) in India under the aegis of the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC). TSSC is registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, with members from COAI, ICA, TCOE, NSDC, TAIPA, AUSPI, Govt., Telecom Industry and Academia.
COAI also played a major role in setting up the Telecom Centers of Excellence (TCOE) set up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, with the Government, the Academia and the Industry working together for the sustained growth and progress of the country. The key objective of TCOEs are to create synergy amongst the academia, telecom industry and the government for creation of new services/applications, generation of IPR, development of manufacturing capability, global telecom standardization activities, and promotion of entrepreneurship.
COAI was instrumental in the formation of the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), which aims at developing and promoting India-specific requirements, standardizing solutions for meeting these requirements and contributing these to international standards. The TSDSI contributes to global standardization in the field of telecommunications by maintaining the technical standards and other deliverables of the organization, safe-guarding the related IPR, helping create manufacturing expertise in the country, and providing leadership to the developing countries in terms of their telecommunications-related standardization needs.
COAI also interacts with various international organizations such as ITU, GSMA, UMTS, TIA, ITIC, GSA, MMF, Digital Europe, WWRF and 3GPP etc.; Country Embassies as well as the Press & Media to ensure that the issues pertaining to the mobile phone industry are discussed, understood and debated on a wider platform.
The key objectives
- To assist all concerned authorities through provision of requisite industry information to enable formulation of suitable policies to incentivize growth of the industry
- To help address the common problems of cellular operators relating to operational, regulatory, financial, or licensing through interactions with Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Finance, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Financial Institutions , etc.
- To be the main interface between the main stakeholders of the Indian Telecom Ecosystem
- To continuously improve the standards and competitiveness of the Cellular Industry and to attain the status of the world class infrastructure and deliver the benefits of affordable mobile telephony services to the people of India
- To carry out studies on industry best practices and undertake research and analysis of cellular experience worldwide
- To maintain and upgrade the quality of services in terms of speech transmission, ability to access services, coverage, security etc., to facilitate the expansion of cellular services
- To dispense information and spread awareness among the national and international operators and consumers alike on issues relating to service quality and other value added services provided by the operators to their subscribers
- To encourage the advent of convergence of the technologies to facilitate the move towards complete convergence in communications as this could greatly help India mitigate the problem of low fixed line penetration and help realize India’s vision of becoming an Information Society
Invention of Telephone: Scottish engineer, Alexander Graham Bell, patents his creation and is now regarded as the inventor of this technology.
The beginning of telephone lines: During 1887, construction of the first regular phone line was completed. The line ran from Boston to Somerville in Massachusetts. By the end of 1880, there were nearly 48,000 telephones in the US.
Telephone in India: Oriental Telephone Company Limited of England opened telephone exchanges at Calcutta (Kolkata), Bombay (Mumbai), Madras (Chennai) and Ahmedabad. On the 28th January 1882, the first formal telephone service was established with a total of 93 subscribers.
The first mobile phone: The first official mobile phone was invented by Martin Cooper while working for Motorola. He is considered as the ‘father of mobile phone’ and was first person in history to make handheld mobile phone call in public.
The telecom sector was opened up by the Government for private investment.
2G mobile technology is launched: During 1991, 2G Technology was launched in Finland by Radiolinja on the Global system for Mobile communications standard. The move sparked competition in the market and also introduced data services (SMS text messaging).
India’s first Mobile Phone: First mobile telephone service on noncommercial basis started in India on 48th Independence Day at country’s capital Delhi. The first cellular call was made in India on July 31st, 1995 over Modi Telstra’s MobileNet GSM network of Kolkata.
Introduction of 3G: The commercial launch of 3G unveiled in Japan by mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo during October 2001.
India Enters 3G: India entered the 3G arena with the launch of 3G enabled Mobile and Data services by Government owned MTNL and BSNL. Later from November 2010 private operator’s started to launch their services.
India crosses 1 Billion Mark: India’s mobile phone subscriber base crested the 1 billion users mark. The little device in Indians’ pocket or purse has become their window to a world of information, education, livelihood, employment and even shopping and commerce. India’s mobile revolution is just beginning.