India Mobile Congress, 2022
5G is a present from the government and the telecom industry to the people of the nation: PM Modi
Airtel launched its 5G services at IMC 2022 today in eight cities, while Jio will launch its 5G networks around Diwali
This is an opportunity for our entrepreneurs, who can use 5G technology to scale: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (October 1) officially launched 5G services in India on the first day of the India Mobile Congress 2022. Eight cities in the country will get the services from today itself as Bharti Airtel announced the official launch in these cities at the event.
The next-gen mobile network will be rolled out in a phased manner. In the first phase, 13 cities will get access to the services, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
PM Modi called the launch of the 5G services a present from the government and the telecom industry to the people of the nation.
“Today, when 5G is being launched, I am filled with belief,” Modi said. “India will not remain a consumer of technology. Instead, India will play a very big role in the development and implementation of the technology.”
He added that the next-gen network will completely alter the internet’s infrastructure as it presents a big opportunity for India’s youth.
The prime minister said that his government has worked on four ‘pillars’ for the telecom sector and 5G. These ‘pillars’ include the price of the devices, digital connectivity, data pricing and digital-first thinking, he said.
The government has worked to ensure that India becomes self-reliant in all these pillars, he added.
Speaking on Industry 4.0, Modi said, “It is often said that India could not benefit from the first three industrial revolutions. But, I believe that India would not only benefit from the fourth industrial revolution but also lead it.”
The prime minister also spoke about India’s startup ecosystem. “This is an opportunity for our entrepreneurs, who can use 5G technology to scale,” he said.
Earlier, Modi visited the pavilions set up by Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, experiencing the various technologies developed by the telcos.
Speaking during the inauguration event, Union Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw said that 5G is the gateway to ‘Digital India’. Highlighting the reforms undertaken by the government for the telecom sector, he said, “Telecom is emerging as a sunrise industry.”
The minister also noted the various use cases that the next-gen network would enable in India, including in education, health, agriculture, logistics and banking. “There will be a fundamental change in these sectors,” said Vaishnaw.
5G Rollout In October: Telcos’ Plans
“To my mind, it is a foundational technology that unlocks the full potential of other 21st-century technologies like AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain and Metaverse,” Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said at the event.
Sharing the details for Jio’s rollout, Ambani added, “Today I want to reiterate Jio’s commitment to delivering 5G to every town, every taluka, and every tehsil of our country by December 2023.”
Jio has already announced that it will be launching the next-gen networks in the 13 aforementioned cities around Diwali.
Meanwhile, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, said that the telco has launched its next-gen network today in eight cities.
“By March 2023, Airtel will roll out 5G networks in most cities and by March 2024, we will roll out 5G everywhere in the country. Today, we are launching 5G in eight cities, including Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and others,” Mittal said on Airtel’s 5G plans.
On India’s startup ecosystem, Mittal said, “India is witnessing the birth of unicorns every month. I believe that with 5G, in the coming years there will be hundreds of use cases, thousands of entrepreneurs and dozens of unicorns in the country.”
Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, said, “5G will augment services at scale and will create impact in critical areas like Industry 4.0, automated manufacturing, smart cities, smart automobiles, smart homes and other innovative business and consumer solutions.”
Speaking on Vodafone Idea’s 5G plans, its former chief said, “Having taken concrete steps for the 5G ecosystem development, 5G use cases for Indian enterprises and consumers and acquisition of 5G spectrum, we will soon begin the 5G rollout journey.”
Vodafone Idea is the only telco without a set timeline for rollout in the country.