Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani says 5G rollout should be India’s national priority

He also said that India must complete the migration from 2G to 4G to 5G at the earliest.

FP Staff December 08, 2021 12:09:45 IST
Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani says 5G rollout should be India’s national priority

File image of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance on Wednesday pitched for India to make the rollout of 5G or the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks "a national priority" to support the digital revolution. He said that India must complete the migration from 2G to 4G to 5G at the earliest.

Ambani, whose firm Reliance Jio in 2016 ushered in the revolution in cheaper mobile data and connectivity, said the rollout of 5G should be India’s national priority.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that affordability has been a critical driver of the phenomenally rapid expansion of the mobile subscriber base in India. India should move towards greater digital inclusion, and not greater digital exclusion,” he said.

Delivering a keynote address at the inauguration of India Mobile Congress 2021, Ambani said, "To keep millions of Indians at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid confined to 2G is to deprive them of the benefits of the digital revolution."

Ambani listed five ideas related to the theme of the conference ‘Connectivity for the next Decade’.

"We should not lose sight of the fact that affordability has been a critical driver of the phenomenally rapid expansion of the mobile subscriber base in India. India should move towards greater digital inclusion, and not greater digital exclusion," he said.

Also, fiber connectivity should be completed across India on a mission mode, said Ambani.

He also pitched for the adoption of "futuristic technologies and supportive policy tools" like the use of the USO fund for purposes other than services.

USO fund can be used to subsidise devices to select target groups.

"India needs to ensure affordability not only of services but also of devices and applications."

Here are his top five quotes from his speech:

1. India must complete the migration from 2G to 4G to 5G at the earliest. To keep millions of Indians at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid confined to 2G is to deprive them of the benefits of the digital revolution.

2. Roll-out of 5G should be India’s national priority. Jio has developed a 100% home-grown and comprehensive 5G solution which is fully cloud native and digitally managed. Because of its converged, future-proof architecture, Jio’s network could be quickly and seamlessly upgraded from 4G to 5G.

3. Affordability has been a critical driver of the phenomenally rapid expansion of mobile subscriber base in India. When we talk of affordability in the policy context, we only think of affordability of services. Actually, India needs to ensure affordability not only of services, but also of devices and applications.

4. Fibre has almost unlimited data carriage capacity. Therefore, to be future-ready, India has to be fibre-ready. Even during these Covid times, Jio was able to introduce Fibre to Home to 5 million homes. If all the players in the industry work together, we can rapidly achieve a nationwide footprint of fibre, just as we reached mobile telephony to every corner of the country in the last decade.

5. Another candidate for radical transformation is India’s energy systems. Technologies are maturing for energy saving through smart grids, decarbonisation of the economy, and drastic reduction in cost of India’s transition to clean and green energy.

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