India is watching the rollout of the 6G telecom network, which will provide high-speed internet connectivity by the end of the decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
India currently has 3G and 4G telecom networks and companies are gearing up to launch 5G in the next few months.
Speaking at the silver jubilee function of telecom sector regulator TRAI here, he said it was estimated that the 5G network rollout would add USD 450 billion to the Indian economy.
“This is not only increasing the speed of the internet but also speeding up development and creating jobs,” he said, adding that 5G technology would bring about a positive change in the governance of the country, making life easier and doing business easier.
He said it would boost growth in agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics.
Connectivity, Modi said, will determine the country’s progress in the 21st century and so modern day infrastructure needs to be introduced.
According to the Prime Minister, a task force has started work on launching 6G networks by the end of the decade.
Aiming at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Modi said that the 2G era was a symbol of policy paralysis and corruption.
Under his government the country has clearly moved to 4G and is now moving to 5G and TRAI has played a crucial role in this transformation, Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that whenever the industry faced challenges like previous taxes or consistent total revenue, his government responded quickly to the crisis and reformed where necessary.
“It simply came to our notice then. As a result, FDI inflows into the telecom sector have increased more than one and a half times in the last eight years, compared to the country before 2014, ”Modi said.
Teledensity and Internet users are expanding rapidly, he said, adding that mobile manufacturing units in India have expanded from 2 to more than 200 and the country is now the largest mobile manufacturing hub in the world.
The Prime Minister further said that his government has encouraged healthy competition which has resulted in India having one of the cheapest telecom data charges in the world.
The domestic 5G test bed is an important step towards India’s self-reliance in the telecom sector, he added.
Telecom Minister Ashwani Vaishnav said that the country’s scientists and engineers have created a complete 4G stack which is ready for installation by BSNL and is at an advanced stage of 5G stack development.
“By the end of this year, we will see a stack of domestically advanced 5G technologies,” Vaishnav said.
He added that the spectrum management arm of the telecom department – the Wireless Planning Commission – would be reformed later this month.
State Minister for Communications Debusingh Chauhan has said that home-made 4G telecom gears will be installed on the BSNL network by the end of this year.
TRI Chairman PD Vaghela said the implementation of the regulator’s recommendations on 5G services and the introduction of 5G testing for industries and startups would create new space for all vertical sectors that would lead to overall economic growth.
Going forward, he said, sharing and co-creating infrastructure would be important for regulators to reduce the cost of service rollouts, and TRAI has begun collaborating with infrastructure regulators.
I&B Secretary Apurba Chandra said that despite the consolidation in the telecom sector, the broadcasting department is a new entrant almost every day.
He said the media and entertainment industry is expected to grow from US 25 25 billion to US 70 billion by 2030 and that TRAI, as a broadcasting regulator, has a key role to play in managing this growth.