Union Minister for Communication Manoj Sinha says 5G to be the strong backbone for digital inclusion

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The two-day 2nd 5G India International Conference being held in Mumbai today concluded with all the experts agreeing that 5G would transform the digital landscape in the country. Releasing a White Paper on 5G Policy and Regulation at the 2nd 5G India International Conference, Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of Communication said that 5G is a bus that we cannot afford to miss. He said 5G was the opportunity for India to be at the vanguard of a world undergoing a digital transformation, with India making the change from being an also-ran to an early-adopter. He highlighted how 5G technology could be the strong backbone of the government’s efforts in digital inclusion.

The inaugural session on the second day saw stakeholders from the government and private sector discussing the march of India towards 5G. In her address, Smt. Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary and Chairman of the Telecom Commission said that the Government was committed to ensuring that India starts with 5G as the same time as the rest of the world. She said, “The forum would work towards building a strong research ecosystem and regulatory framework and focus not just on ‘Make in India’, but ‘Make and Design in India’ of 5G products and solutions.”

Speaking on the support that the government was committed to offer start-ups in this sector, Smt. Sundararajan referred to the use of the Test Bed to develop products and promote local IPR and said that even if it required big investments, Indian companies should work to manufacture 5G chipsets. She said that once the taskforce gives their recommendations, a 5G roadmap should be expected in 3 to 4 months. The roadmap would be designed to ensure ubiquitous adequate broadband connectivity to ensure socioeconomic benefits are available to all including those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Mr. Sebastien Soriano, Chairman, ARCEP France said that India was a fascinating fast moving market and shared similarities with Europe. He put emphasis on maintaining a balance between speed of rollout versus technology sovereignty which is the basis of all democracies.

The second day also had technical sessions on Preparing for 5G and Key Trends and Drivers shaping 5G witnessing intense participation from the panelists as well as the delegates. The conference ended with the valedictory session on Spectrum and Technology for 5G which saw the participants and speakers agreeing on the need for a robust infrastructure.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 2nd 5G India International Conference, Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of Communication said, “The industry is going through challenging times due to competition, but with 5G the situation will be different. 5G is not restricted only to the telecom service providers, others will also make use of the 5G technology to provide various services. We are not going to miss the bus of 5G this time.”

Clarifying the 5G allotment process, he said they were bound by the Supreme Court order. He added, “We will ask TRAI to give recommendations and on that basis, if needed, we will approach the Supreme Court. DoT has floated draft of the New Telecom Policy for public consultation and we are awaiting that process to be completed. Keeping in mind the fast pace of digitisation, it will be called a Digital Policy and not just Telecom Policy. Our main focus will be on emerging technologies and expanding the broadband network. This will be a forward looking policy and based on the feedback from stakeholders, we believe that this will be a transformational policy for the country.”