The Wiring Of India

Private companies are racing to cash in on telecom deregulation

For years, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been hearing a cavalcade of complaints from telecom executives lobbying for deregulation. Long-distance telephone service was a creaky government monopoly and a roadblock to India's technological progress. So on July 15, he suddenly took action. He announced an end to the state's monopoly on domestic long-distance phone service as well as transmissions via undersea cable. Private players--including foreign companies--would be allowed in starting Aug. 15.

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