Votaries of the prevailing policies extol India’s private corporate sector for spreading mobile telephony widely, at low prices. This article looks behind this low price. It finds a history of State subsidies and gifts to the private corporate sector. After a phase of chaotic and wasteful development by private firms engaging in resource capture and speculation, began a phase of concentration into just two or three giant firms, through the massive use of finance. Despite these vast resources, these firms have failed to build a domestic technological base, and remain heavily import-dependent. The author uses this example to provide insights into what he calls ‘Indian monopoly capital’.