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Telecom unit of Reliance Industries Ltd, Reliance Jio, emphasised on the requirement and a framework for data localisation to ensure cyberattacks are prevented. Jio has asked its corporates to take appropriate measures to protect data.

RIL in its annual report said that Jio is a strong supporter of local storage of data, which is critical for national interest and security. It also added that Jio believes Indians are true owners of their data and ownership should not be transferred to any corporate entity.

The announcement comes ahead of the introduction of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 in the Parliament to address issues concerned with security, consumption and privacy of data which has increased in India due to incredibly cheap data packs and smartphones.

The telecom behemoth expects mobile Internet users to grow to over 800 million, as currently only some 400 million Indians are using smartphones. Jio has set a framework to drive growth wherein it has ventured into 4G device, JioPhone, its fibre-to-the-home network, which is in the final phase of testing.

The annual report also stated how TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) had set a path towards removing Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) with effect from January 1, 2020. This will accelerate the adoption of  technologies like VoLTE, which will enable high speed wireless communication. Jio is the only operator to offer an all-VolTE service while its competitors are now switching to that technology. The operator said it aims to play a key role in 5G development.

Trai has also initiated 5G spectrum auctions in India with availability in newer frequency bands like 700 MHz and 3,300-3,600 MHz. Earlier in 2018, another telecommunication company, Ericsson had installed the first public access 5G testbed at IIT Delhi in 2018, as per  TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) white paper on ‘Enabling 5G in India’.

The spectrum auctions for 5G and 4G are expected this year end. The price recommended by the TRAI is yet to be cleared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which previously had also backed lowering of the rates.

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