5G mobile telephony, which holds the promise of offering 10 times faster speeds and lag-free connectivity, will soon start in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
The Prime Minister touched upon all-round development of technology in the country from 5G to push for electronic chips, laying of optical fibre cable (OFC) network across villages and enablement of digital entrepreneurship in villages through Common Services Centres making the present decade as “techade” for India.
“Now we are stepping towards the era of 5G… won’t have to wait for long. We are taking optical fibre to every village. I have full knowledge that the dream of Digital India will pass through villages.
“I am happy that India’s 4 lakh common service centres are developing in villages. Country can boast of 4 lakh digital entrepreneurs getting ready in villages and people in villages becoming habitual of taking services from them,” Modi said.
The government earlier this month sold 5G telecom spectrum for Rs. 1.5 lakh crore to billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel, richest Indian Gautam Adani’s group and Vodafone Idea.
Besides powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas), the Fifth Generation or 5G would enable solutions such as e-health, connected vehicles, more-immersive augmented reality, and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, among others.
Bharti Airtel will start rolling out 5G services this month and cover all towns and key rural areas of the country by March 2024. Country’s largest telecom player Jio has completed 5G coverage planning in top 1,000 cities and conducted field trials of its home-grown 5G telecom gears.
Modi said that the country frequently remembers former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and his mantra of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” which is an inspiration for the country.
“Later Atal Bihari Vajpayee added a link by saying “Jai Vigyan (Science)” and the country had given priority to it. But now for Amritkaal there is one more necessity and that is “Jai Anusandahan (research)”- Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”- Innovation. I have faith in my young generation,” Modi said.
He said that the power of innovation is visible in the form UPI (Unified Payment Interface) BHIM, digital payment, India’s global rank in fintech space and 40 percent share globally.
PM Modi said that the Digital India movement where the government is taking steps towards 5G, treading towards semiconductors, laying a network of optical fibre, is not only a sign of modernisation but there are three big powers embedded in it.
“Complete revolution in education is going to come through the digital medium. Revolution in health services is going to come from the digital medium. Any big revolution in life is going to come through the digital medium. A new world is getting ready. This decade is the time of ‘techade’ for the human race. It is a decade of technology,” he said.
PM Modi said that the Atal Innovation Mission, incubation centres and the country’s startups are developing new areas, bringing new opportunities for youth of the country.
He called for becoming self-reliant in the energy sector with the adoption of solar energy to Mission Hydrogen to adoption to electric vehicles. “We need to take these initiatives to the next level for energy independence,” Modi said.
He said that India’s industrial growth will come from the grassroots.
“Our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), street vendors & those working in the organised sectors need to be strengthened,” he said.
Modi vowed to fight against corruption with full vigour.
“We have to fight against corruption with all our strength. In the last eight years, use of Aadhaar, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and mobiles were used to find Rs. 2 lakh crore of black money,” he said.
PM Modi said that people from across the world are trying their luck under the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
“Be it electronics, good manufacturing, mobile manufacturing, our nation is progressing at a rapid pace,” he said.
Home-grown mobile devices maker Lava International’s Chairman and Managing Director Hari Om Rai said electronics and technology sectors create about $4 trillion (nearly Rs. 3,17,43,400 crore) of revenue. “Its impact on the global GDP is about $17 trillion (nearly Rs. 13,49,00,100 crore) and its global market capitalisation is about $23 trillion (nearly Rs. 18,25,30,300 crore) . Hon’ PM has aptly recognised the future and crystallised his priority for the tech sector…,” Rai said. He said the electronics and tech industry envisions creating 6 crore direct and indirect jobs with more than $3 trillion contribution (nearly Rs. 2,38,08,300 crore) to the country’s GDP by 2033.
Rai further said the Prime Minister expects to build global champions with the potential to fetch fair share of the worldwide GDP through goods and services exports.
Domestic telecom gear maker Vihaan Networks’ Chairman Rajiv Mehrotra said the Prime Minister’s vision and message is straight and will surely help the nation to be self-sufficient. “Push and significance of semiconductor chips is a welcoming effort. They are the basic building blocks that serve the modern electronics and information and communications technology products,” Mehrotra added.
India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said while acknowledging the tremendous success in mobile phone manufacturing, the Prime Minister has spelled out a profound vision for the digital sector as a foundation of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
“Going by his vision the next decade will be a Techade — with GDP growth propelled by manufacturing and technology. We are upto the task but have a long way to go,” Mohindroo said.
Electronic component industry body ELCINA said the Prime Minister’s focus on emerging technologies, sustainability, renewable energy and natural chemical free agriculture gives a clear direction where we should progress for a bright sustainable future.
“Our initiatives in the domains of Digital India, startups, are bringing forth new ideas, innovations which are enabling us to find solutions to our problems, overcoming challenges. We must take pride in our heritage and ancient sciences which have given us knowledge and technologies centuries ahead of their time,” ELCINA Secretary General Rajoo Goel said.
Telecom gear maker GX India said in the recent days there has been increased focus from the government to develop and design the semiconductor chips in the country. “…development in the semiconductor industry will be a stepping stone towards the development and deployment of indigenous 5G technology for addressing the needs of the country and will open up new global opportunities for the home grown OEMs,” GX India CEO Paritosh Prajapati said.
Tech Mahindra’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Growth, Jagdish Mitra tweeted that the Prime Minister’s mention of the present decade being ‘Techade’ and specific mention of 5G in India as an era of growth is a huge boost for the industry.
IT industry body Nasscom said combined with emerging technologies, India’s technology innovation has impacted the world.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi added during his speech ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan’ the need to emphasise technology innovation and research to steer the country’s growth,” Nasscom said.
IT company Comviva’s Chief Executive Officer Manoranjan Mohapatra said the PM’s push for 5G has resulted in the timely onset of 5G services in India, which will be rolled out in a matter of weeks.
“5G is not just a next generation of telecommunication technology, it will also pave the way for a robust Digital India and value-added services will play a huge role in driving the next level of customer adoption and experience for individuals and enterprises.
“Next level of growth will come from many enterprises centric use cases leveraging the speed and low latency of 5G,” he said.