'India was only a user of telecom technology before 4G, but today it is moving towards being the biggest exporter of telecom technology'
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday unveiled 6G vision document and said that the fact that India is discussing 6G just six months after the 5G rollout shows the country's confidence. The Prime Minister said that from being only a user a few years ago, India is fast becoming a big exporter of telecom technology.
Speaking after inaugurating the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) area office and innovation centre in India, Mr Modi said that India is the country with the fastest 5G rollout in the world. He pointed out that 5G services have been rolled out in more than 125 cities in just 120 days and 5G services have reached approximately 350 districts in the country.
The Prime Minister also launched the ‘Call before u dig’ app and said, "Today's India is rapidly moving towards the next step of the digital revolution."
"Within six months of the 5G rollout, today we are talking about 6G. This shows the confidence of India. Today we have brought the vision document to the fore. This will become a big base for the rollout of 6G," Mr Modi said.
He noted that the 6G test bed and the vision document related to this technology have been unveiled, which will not only usher in new energy in digital India but also provide solutions and innovations for the Global South.
The Prime Minister underlined that it will create new opportunities for India’s innovators, industries and startups. He also noted that this initiative will strengthen cooperation and collaboration in the IT sector among South Asian countries.
Noting that successfully developed telecom technology in India is attracting the attention of many countries of the world, Mr Modi said that India was only a user of telecom technology before 4G, but today it is moving towards being the biggest exporter of telecom technology in the world.
"India is working with many countries to change the work culture of the whole world with the power of 5G," Mr Modi said, underscoring that it will go a long way in realising the opportunities, business models and employment potential associated with 5G.
The Prime Minister also announced that in the coming days, India will set up 100 new 5G labs.
"These 100 new labs will help in developing 5G applications according to India's unique needs. Be it 5G smart classrooms, farming, intelligent transport systems or healthcare applications, India is working fast in every direction," the Prime Minister said.
Noting that India's 5G standards are part of the global 5G systems, he said that India will also work closely with the ITU for the standardisation of future technologies and underlined that the new Indian ITU area office will also help in creating the right environment for 6G.
The Prime Minister expressed his delight in announcing that the World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly of the ITU will be held in October next year in Delhi, where representatives from all over the world will visit India.
He said that India is now the most connected democracy in the world, with over 100 crores mobile connections and credited this transformation to the availability of cheap smartphones and data.
"More than 800 crores digital payments are made every month in India through UPI. More than 7 crores e-authentications take place in India every day. More than 220 crore vaccine doses were administered through the Co-Win platform in India. In the past few years. India has transferred more than `28 lakh crores to the bank accounts of its citizens via direct benefit transfers," the Prime Minister said.
He further mentioned that India has successfully managed to open more bank accounts than the entire population of the USA through the Jan Dhan Yojna, which were later authenticated through the Aadhar and helped in connecting more than 100 crores people through their mobile phones.
Mr Modi pointed out that telecom technology for India is not a mode of power but a mission to empower and digital technology is universal in India and accessible to everyone.
Underscoring that digital inclusion has happened on a large scale in India in the last few years, the Prime Minister mentioned that broadband connectivity had 6 crores users in India before 2014, but that number has gone up to more than 80 crores today. He further pointed out that the number of internet connections in India is more than 85 crores compared to 25 crores before 2014.
Referring to the rural upsurge of internet use in India, the Prime Minister informed the audience that the number of internet users in the villages has surpassed that in urban areas, indicating that digital power has reached every nook and corner of the country.
He further said that 25 lakh km of optical fiber has been laid in India by the government and private sector in the last nine years. "Two lakh gram panchayats have been connected by optical fiber and 5 lakh common service centers are giving digital services, leading to a situation where the digital economy is expanding two-and-a-half times faster than the rest of the economy," Mr Modi said.
The Prime Minister highlighted the pace of India's development and expressed the belief that this center of the ITU will play an important role. "This decade is India's techade. India's telecom and digital model is smooth, secure and transparent and all the friendly countries of South Asia can take advantage of this," the Prime Minister added.