‘Pre-2014 Govts Akin To Frozen Mobile Phones’

Aakash Ambani said India ranks among the top three 5 G-enabled nations with a user base of 125 million.

NEW DELHI, Oct 27 (The CONNECT) – Comparing the governments before 2014 to frozen mobile devices that did not function, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India has moved from the 5G rollout stage to 5G reach out stage while rapidly progressing towards 6G.

Within one year of 5G rollout, four lakh 5G base stations were installed covering more than 97 percent of the cities and 80 percent of the population, Modi said inaugurating the three-day 7th India Mobile Congress (IMC) at Bharat Mandapam in the national capital.

IMC is the largest telecom, media, and technology forum in Asia with the theme ‘Global Digital Innovation’.

Recalling the difficulties faced due to outdated technology, Modi pointed out that the governments of the past were in a similar state. The Prime Minister pointed out the outdated methods of the previous governments by drawing an analogy to a frozen mobile device where the commands did not function.

Modi did not mention that the telecom revolution started during the Rajiv Gandhi era and took wings under late PM Vajpayee.

Noting the lack of vision when it came to electronics manufacturing during previous governments, Modi informed that India today is exporting about Rs 2 lakh crores worth of electronics manufactured in the country. He also threw light on the recent announcement by Google to manufacture Pixel phones in India. “Samsung Fold Five and Apple iPhone 15 are already being manufactured here”, he added.

“After 2014, people stopped using outdated technologies where changing batteries or restarting the system became a futile exercise”, he said.  He recalled that India used to be an importer of mobile phones whereas today, India has become the second largest mobile manufacturer in the world.

The Prime Minister stressed the need to take this success in mobile and electronics manufacturing even further. “For the success of both hardware and software in the tech ecosystem, it is important that we build a strong semiconductor manufacturing sector in India”, he said, informing that an 80 thousand crore rupees PLI scheme is going on for the development of semiconductors.

Today, semiconductor companies around the world are investing in semiconductor assembly and testing facilities in collaboration with Indian companies. India’s semiconductor mission is moving forward with the vision of meeting not only its domestic demand but also the needs of the world, he added.

Highlighting the primacy of technology in the factors that will make a developing nation developed, the Modi said that in the development of digital technology, India is behind no developed nation. Listing the initiatives to link different sectors with technology, the Prime Minister mentioned platforms like PM Gatishakti in logistics, National Health Mission in health and Agri Stack in the agriculture sector.

He mentioned huge investments in scientific research, quantum mission and national research foundation and promotion of indigenous designs and technology development.

PM  Modi drew attention to the important aspect of cybersecurity and the safety of network infrastructure and recalled the discussion on ‘Global Threats of Cyber Security’ at the G20 Summit. Noting that self-reliance in the entire manufacturing value chain is extremely important for cyber security, the Prime Minister underlined that it becomes easier to maintain security when everything in the value chain belongs to the national domain, be it hardware, software or connectivity. Modi stressed the need to carry out discussions at the India Mobile Congress about keeping the world’s democratic societies safe

Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Akash M Ambani hailed the Prime Minister’s commitment to improving the lives of younger generations by inculcating the use of the latest technologies thereby powering India’s Digital public infrastructure. He highlighted that the Prime Minister is an inspiration for millions of youngsters in the country in making the Digital India program inclusive, innovative and sustainable. He informed that Jio has installed over 10 lakh 5G cells across all 22 circuits of India, making an 85 percent contribution to the overall 5G distribution where the rollout of the 5G stack is designed, developed and manufactured by Indian talent.

“India ranks among the top three 5 G-enabled nations with a user base of 125 million. He underlined that the Prime Minister has unified the entire nation and gave examples of GST, India’s Digital Revolution and the tallest statue built in the world. “Your efforts motivate all of us at the India Mobile Conference”, he told the PM. On behalf of all digital entrepreneurs, innovators and startups, Ambani assured to realize India’s dream during India’s Amrit Kaal.

Chairman Bharti Enterprises, Sunil Bharti Mittal recalled the vision given by the Prime Minister in the form of Digital India which led to the development of digital infrastructure at a feverish pace. He underlined the transformation brought about by the JAM trinity vision of the Prime Minister and how the world has taken note of India’s digital transformation.

He said the Digital Public Infrastructure  (DPI) of India is the envy of many countries. Second key pillar of the Prime Minister’s vision according to Mittal, is Make in India, and noted the strides made in manufacturing in the last one year itself. “India has grown very deep roots in manufacturing. Companies like Apple to Dixon, Samsung to Tatas, every company, small, big or startup are involved in manufacturing and India has emerged as a manufacturing nation, especially for digital infrastructure at a huge scale of a world leader”, he said.

He informed that in 5000 towns and 20,000 villages Airtel 5G rollout has already taken place and informed that by March 2024 they would cover the entire country and touched upon the call made by the Prime Minister to this effect. This will be truly the fastest 5G rollout anywhere in the world, he said.

Chairman of Aditya Birla Group Kumar Mangalam Birla thanked the Prime Minister for his visionary leadership in driving India’s Digital transformation and lauded his commitment towards digital inclusion which is rooted in the principle of ‘Antyodaya’ where benefits are ensured for everyone.

He credited this approach for India’s growth in the digital evolution which has gained global recognition. “India has emerged as a champion of the Global South inspired by the Prime Minister’s vision”, Shri Birla said as he underlined that many countries are eager to adopt India’s pathbreaking public infrastructure assets across identity, payments and data management.

He reiterated that Vodafone Idea is committed to being a responsible partner in achieving the vision of the Prime Minister. He mentioned that India is actively engaging with the development of standards for futuristic technologies in areas like 6G under the guidance of the Prime Minister. He also thanked the government for their tremendous support.

Prime Minister said that in the changing times of the 21st century, this event has the power to change the lives of crores of people. Underling the fast pace of technology, the Prime Minister said “The future is here and now”. He praised the exhibition placed for the occasion to provide glimpses of the future in telecom, technology and connectivity.

He mentioned the fields of 6G, AI, cyber security, semiconductors, drone or space sectors, deep sea, green tech or any other sectors and said, “The future is going to be entirely different and it is a matter of happiness that our young generation is leading the tech revolution”.

He underlined that the speed of median mobile broadband speeds have increased 3 times within one year. He further added that India moved from the 118th position to the 43rd position in terms of broadband speed.

“India is not only expanding the 5G network in the country but also laying emphasis on becoming a leader in 6G”, he remarked. Pointing out the scam that took place during 2G, the Prime Minister said that the 4G rollout which happened during the present government’s tenure is free from blemishes. He also expressed confidence that India will take the lead with 6G technology.

He said, beyond ranking and number improvement in internet connectivity and speed lead to enhanced ease of living. He narrated the benefits of improved connectivity and speed in education, medicine, tourism, and agriculture.

“We believe in the power of democratization. The benefit of development should reach every section and region, everyone should benefit from the resources in India, everyone should have a life of dignity and the benefit of technology should reach everyone. We are working rapidly in this direction”, the Prime Minister said. “For me, this is the biggest social justice”, he added. He further said that “access to capital, access to resources and access to technology is a priority for our government.

He mentioned that collateral-free loans under the Mudra scheme, access to toilets, and DBT through JAM Trinity have one thing in common that is they are ensuring previously inaccessible rights for the common citizens. He highlighted the role of telecom technology in this regard and mentioned Bharat Net which has connected about 2 lakh Gram Panchayats with broadband. 10,000 Atal tinkering labs are exposing about 75 lakh children to cutting-edge technology. He expressed the hope that 5G use labs launched today will have a similar impact. “These labs prompt the youth to dream big and give them the confidence to achieve them”, he added. 

The Prime Minister emphasized that India’s startup ecosystem has made a significant place for itself in the world in the last few years. “India has made a century of unicorns in fairly less time and has now become one of the top 3 startup ecosystems in the world”, Shri Modi remarked. Before 2014, the Prime Minister said that India was home to only a few hundred startups whereas that number has gone up to approximately one lakh today. Prime Minister Modi also touched upon the ‘Aspire’ program, an initiative by the Indian Mobile Congress to mentor startups in the country and expressed confidence that the step will hugely benefit the youth of India. He emphasized that India’s journey must be remembered.

The Prime Minister lamented the missed opportunities when it came to the adoption of new technologies in the past. He mentioned India’s IT sector where India showcased its talent in already-developed technologies. “This period of the 21st century is the time of India’s Thought Leadership”, Modi emphasized and urged thought leaders to create new domains which can be followed by others. He gave the example of the UPI which is leading the entire world in digital payments system today. “India has the power of young demography and the power of vibrant democracy”, the Prime Minister remarked. He urged the members of the India Mobile Congress, especially young members, to move forward in this direction. “Today, when we are realizing the goal of becoming a developed India, the transition of moving forward as thought leaders can bring revolutionary changes in the entire sector”, the Prime Minister concluded.