IMC 2018: Telcos discuss future technology trends

New Delhi: Several telecom companies on Thursday participated in the second India Mobile Congress (IMC 2018) titled ‘New Digital Horizons Connect’ to discuss about their future vision of technology and how it can accelerate the growth of Indian economy in the coming years.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, who shook up the telecom sector with his pocket-friendly data plans and free calling assured that all the Indians in the next couple of years will have 4G technology.

Speaking at the IMC 2018 event in Delhi’s Aerocity, Ambani said, “Jio is aiming to take the digital drive to the villages of India with its JioPhone. The combination of connectivity and affordability is Jio’s main USP as it tries to make headway into 4G connectivity for all.”

“In the past eight months alone as many as 50 million villagers have got affordable smartphones. For most of them it is not only their pehla (first) phone but also their pehla (first) radio or a music players, pehla TV, pehla camera and pehla Internet in their lives,” he added.

Elaborating on India’s growth, Ambani was of the view that by the use of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality it can bring fourth Industrial revolution to India.

“A future of exponential growth and immense opportunities for 130 crore connected Indians, this Revolution will open the floodgates of limitless possibilities for India and Indians especially young Indians,” he added.
AB Group Chairman KM Birla who also participated in the event, said that he is exploring the possibilities in the telecom sector.

Speaking at the event, Birla said that the telecom industry is working in the direction to build a strong broadband infrastructure and is steadily moving towards achieving the goals of Digital India. He also added that the wireless broadband will help the industrial application and give new momentum to Digital India programme.

“India’s data capacity is increasing day by day. The merger of Vodafone and Idea is the first step to join the resources of both the telecom giants to reach a higher audience. Vodafone’s urban reach while Idea’s rural reach is ideal for setting the groundwork for a robust telecom infrastructure in the country which is in line with the rising demand,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal raised the issue of taxes levied on telecom sector, saying that taxes need to be curbed for the growth.

While addressing the IMC 2018, Mittal said that National Digital Communications Policy (NDPC), like the earlier telecom policy, acknowledged that revenue maximisation is not the sole objective.

“There is also one overarching objective of previous policy and also enshrined in NDCP that revenue maximisation is not the objective. Then why operators and Department of Telecom are under litigation for revenue maximisation?” he questioned adding that the telecom sector is being taxed “like tobacco industries” and emphasised that the issue needs to be resolved.

Expressing his views on the use of future technology in India, Samsung Networks president and head Youngky Kim said, “5G will enable seamless machine to machine to human communication, Facilitate smart Agriculture, and make technologies such as robotics and Artificial Intelligence possible.”

He further said, “I have seen the power of technology and was part of some of the transformations tech has brought about. Biggest asset of India’s transformation is smartphone and the internet”, he added.