NEW DELHI, DEC 8, 2021
India must complete the migration from 2G to 4G to 5G at the earliest and the roll out of 5G should be the country’s national priority to join the next-gen digital transformation bandwagon, said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), here on Wednesday.
Delivering the virtual keynote address at the Indian Mobile Congress (IMC), Ambani said that to keep millions of Indians at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid confined to 2G is to deprive them of the benefits of the digital revolution.
“The roll-out of 5G should be India’s national priority. We have developed a 100% home-grown and comprehensive 5G solution which is fully cloud native and digitally managed.
Because of our converged, future-proof architecture, Jio’s network could be quickly and seamlessly upgraded from 4G to 5G,” he said.
According to latest data by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Reliance Jio has more than 44.38 crore subscribers.
Ambani said that affordability has been a critical driver of the phenomenally rapid expansion of mobile subscriber base in India.
“When we talk of affordability in the policy context, we only think of affordability of services. Actually, India needs to ensure affordability not only of services, but also of devices and applications. The best way of ensuring comprehensive affordability is nimble adoption of futuristic technologies and supportive policy tools like use of the USO fund for purposes other than services. USO fund can be used to subsidise devices to select target groups,” said the Reliance chief.
“Ubiquitous Fibre Connectivity should be completed across India on a mission mode. This is because the world is now transitioning into a DIGITAL FIRST ERA, when almost everything will be done in the digital space first, and then translated into the physical world,” he added.
During the Covid times, Jio was able to introduce Fibre-to-Home to five million homes.
“If all the players in the industry work together, we can rapidly achieve a nationwide footprint of fibre, just as we reached mobile telephony to every corner of the country in the last decade,” said Ambani.
“Fibre has almost unlimited data carriage capacity. Therefore, to be future-ready, India has to be fibre-ready,” he added.
Beyond connectivity, the country should also focus on the critical components of the digital eco-system which are necessary for India’s digital transformation, Ambani said.
“The government is putting in place a sound regulatory and policy framework for this. This has helped thousands of young Indian entrepreneurs and start-ups create platforms, applications and solutions that can accelerate India’s digital transformation. We are already seeing innovative solutions in education, financial services, entertainment, retail, agriculture, manufacturing and other key verticals of the economy,” he elaborated.
“Now we are ready to democratize digitally enabled development, so that its fruits can be enjoyed by all the 1.35 billion Indians. We are determined to transform India as a premier Digital Society, with the ease of living and the ease of doing business, which are comparable to advanced countries in the world,” Ambani concluded.