India to become a world leader in mobile technology in next 5 years, says Vaishnaw

Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw here on Sunday exuded confidence that India would become one of the world leaders in the manufacturing of mobile technology in the next five years, given the technological advancement going on in the county.

“As part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat programme, we have been clearly instructed to design and manufacture the technology required for 4G and 5G connectivity in India. It is a matter of satisfaction that 4G technology has been designed and developed in India. It is being tested. The progress, we have achieved with regards to 5G service, is beyond our expectation,” Mr. Vaishnaw said while addressing a press conference here.

“The 5G core and radio network will be rolled out shortly. It would usher in development led by technology,” he said.

“India has developed 4G network technology which is better than the ones available in other countries. Our engineers have worked hard on the technology of virtualisation which no other company in the world has mastered. During the past two years, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have developed the technology by virtualising the network,” the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.

“I am confident that India would become one of world leaders in mobile technology in five years,” the Union Minister asserted.

“A decade ago, who would have thought mobile and electronic systems would be manufactured in India. Now, India has already become the world’s second-largest mobile handset manufacturer. World’s largest mobile manufacturing set-up is now available in India,” he informed.

According to Mr. Vaishnaw, the market size of India’s electronic manufacturing has touched ₹6 lakh crore. The sector is generating 22 lakh jobs. With the speed at which electronic manufacturing is progressing, its market size would touch ₹25 lakh crore in next five years. It would be by then generating 80 lakh employments.

When asked as to why the public sector BSNL and MTNL were struggling to compete with their private counterparts, the Minister said, “BSNL was a profitable company. The funds of BSNL were diverted during the UPA era. Within three years, BSNL became an entity that was unsustainable for its sustenance. There were no resources available to fund even the day-to-day activities.”

“For the first time, the BSNL had earned an operating profit last year. It happened because Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved a package of ₹90,000 crore for the revival of BSNL and MTNL. It enabled the two public sector companies to stabilise,” he said.

“This year, we are infusing ₹45,000 crore to take the public sector companies BSNL and MTNL to the next stage. The fund would be spent on 4G spectrums, network upgradation and the replacement of old equipment,” the Minister informed.

Once BSNL gets stable in 4G technology in one or two years, it would go for 5G service,” the IT minister said.

On Odisha having the largest villages uncovered by mobile services, Mr. Vaishnaw said PM Modi had approved the installation of mobile towers at 3,934 sites in December last and upon the installation of these towers, they would cover many more villages in their surroundings, he said.

In Odisha, there are 6,099 villages uncovered by mobile services – the highest in the country. The next on the list is Madhya Pradesh, where there are 2,612 villages without mobile connectivity.

“If any village is left uncovered in Odisha, the problem will be addressed immediately through a fresh survey,” Mr. Vaishnaw assured.

Mobile connectivity is one of the major poll issues in elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions. In five gram panchayats of Deogarh district, candidates did not turn up for filing nominations protesting against lack of mobile connectivity. (EOM)

Steve Liem

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