Noting that India is rapidly expanding the 5G network, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the country is moving towards taking the lead in 6G technology.
“India is not only expanding the 5G network in the country but also laying emphasis on becoming a leader in 6G”, he said while addressing the India Mobile Congress here on Friday.
PM Modi stated that within one year of the 5G rollout, about 4 lakh 5G base stations have been established, which have covered more than 97% of the cities and 80% of the population.
He underlined that the speed of median mobile broadband speeds has increased three times within one year, while also highlighting that India has moved from the 118th position to the 43rd position in terms of broadband speed.
The Prime Minister noted that beyond ranking and number, the improvement in internet connectivity and speed has led 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 issue,”, he added.
He further said that “access to capital, access to resources, and access to technology is a priority for our government.”
During the inaugural event of the India Mobile Congress, Modi awarded 100 ‘5G Use Case Labs’ to educational institutions across the country. The ‘100 5G Labs Initiative’ is an endeavor to realize the opportunities associated with 5G technology by encouraging the development of 5G applications that cater both to India’s unique needs as well as global demands. The initiative is also a pivotal step for building a 6G-ready academic and start-up ecosystem in the country.
The India Mobile Congress is the largest telecom, media, and technology forum in Asia and is being held from October 27–29, 2023. It is expected to be attended by over one lakh participants from about 22 countries, including about 5,000 CEO-level delegates, 230 exhibitors, 400 startups, and other stakeholders.
Addressing the participants, the Prime Minister also took a jab at the previous UPA government led by the Congress party.
“After 2014, people stopped using outdated technologies, where changing batteries or restarting the system became a futile exercise”, he said while drawing an analogy to a frozen mobile device where the commands did not function.
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.
Industry leaders Sunil Bharti Mittal, Akash Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla also spoke on the occasion and reiterated their commitment to the digital revolution.
Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, Akash M. Ambani, said 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.
Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal informed that by March 2024, they would cover the entire country with 5G network.
“In the coming quarters, Vodafone Idea will initiate significant investments in order to roll out 5G networks and further expand 4G coverage across the country,” said Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla while speaking at the mega telecom event.