The first Submarine Telegraph Cable from U.K. landed in Bombay in 1870, heralding the era of external telecommunications in India.
The Eastern Telegraph Co. (ETC) of 1872 and the Indian RadioTelegraph Co. (IRT) of 1927 merged to form the Indian Radio and Cable Communications Co. (IRCC) in 1932.
The H.F. Radio telegraph made its appearance on the scene in 1927, followed by Radio telephony in 1933.
Consequent to India's Independence in 1947, there were phenomenal developments in her communication system and technology. The Government of India took over the IRCC, giving birth to the Overseas Communications Service (OCS), a Government Department.
The satellite era dawned in 1970. India also had, by 1982, wideband submarine telephone cable system and Troposcatter system in the external telecommunications network.
On April 1, 1986, the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) - a wholly Government owned corporation - was born as successor to OCS.
There were unexpected developments in mobile communications too. Now it is possible to communicate and do business with people on the move - on land, on the high seas or in the air, even while you are moving from one place to another. These developments also made possible safety through communications - during natural calamities like flood or earthquake or man-made calamities like war, when conventional systems are thrown out of gear.
Meanwhile, VSNL introduced Internet services in India in the year 1995. The new era of communications started towards the new millennium.
In February 2002, the Government of India, as per their disinvestments plan, released 26% of VSNL's equity to a strategic partner. Consequently, VSNL was taken over under the administrative control of TATAs. It is under the Management of TATAs - India's best known industrial house-that VSNL is now charting its future course.