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 India's key metros . Delhi, the political capital and Mumbai, the business capital of India. In the past 23 years, the company has taken rapid strides to emerge as India's leading and one of Asia's largest telecom operating companies. Besides having a strong financial base, MTNL has achieved a customer base of 8.06 million as on 31st March 2009.
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.