MTNL was set up on 1st April 1986 by the Government of India to upgrade the quality of telecom services, expand the telecom network, introduce new services and to raise revenue for telecom development needs of Indias key metros Delhi, the political capital and Mumbai, the business capital of India. In the past 16 years, the company has taken rapid strides to emerge as Indias leading and one of Asias largest telecom operating companies. Besides having a strong financial base, MTNL has achieved a market share of approximately 13% of the Indian telecommunication network with a customer base of over 4.74 million lines.
The company has also been in the forefront of technology induction by converting 100% of its telephone exchange network into the state-of-the-art digital mode.
The Govt. of India currently holds 56.25% stake in the company.
In the year 2002-03, the company would not only consolidate the gains but would also focus on new areas of enterprise viz. Joint Ventures for projects outside India, entering into national long distance operation, widening the cellular, introducing CDMA-based WLL customer base, setting up internet and allied services on all India basis.