NEW DELHI, Oct 1: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday ushered in an era of ultra high-speed internet on mobile phones by launching the 5G telephony services in the country
Mr Modi launched the 5G services in select cities at the India Mobile Congress, 2022, conference. Starting from eight cities to be covered under the service with immediate effect, the services will progressively cover the entire country over the next couple of years.
Capable of supporting ultra-high-speed internet, the fifth generation or 5G service is expected to unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits, serving as a transformational force for Indian society, Modi said.
Terming the 5G services launch a “dawn of a new era in India,” Modi was it was a gift from the telecom industry to 130 crore Indians. “This summit is global but the voice is local. Today is a special day to witness New India’s capabilities.”
The prime minister said India would play an important role in the technological revolution of the world. The new India would not only remain a consumer of technology but rather, would play a significant role in the implementation of technology for the growth of the country. He said with 5G India was leading and setting the global standard in telecom technology. “5G will open many opportunities for the youth. This is a big step towards our vision of a Viksit Bharat (A Developed India),” he said.
Mr Modi said Digital India was not just an initiative, but “the vision that will propel us to achieve the vision of New India. Through Digital India we can ensure holistic growth.”
Pointing out that “Digital India’s” success was based on four pillars: Cost of Device, Digital Connectivity, Data Costs, and Digital First Approach, Mr Modi said the prices of electronics would go down only when we become Aatmanirbhar. In 2014, there were only two mobile manufacturing facilities, today that number has increased to over 200 manufacturing facilities. Today, New India is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world,” he said.
Stating that the government was working for making “internet for all,” Mr Modi said, “It is to be noted that today, compared to the internet users in urban areas, the number of internet users is increasing rapidly in rural areas.” He also noted that there had been an increase in the reach of optical fibre.
“Connectivity is one of the major strengths of the communication sector. In 2014, broadband users accounted for six crore, today it is more than 80 crore. India’s vision of digital connectivity can be seen in the steep increase in rural connectivity. From just 100 gram panchayats with optical fibre connectivity, we now have over 170,000 panchayats connected with optical fibre. We have taken digital connectivity from just the elite to the grassroots in India, and this has spurred innovation in the country,” he said.
The prime minister said, “With a digital-first approach we have been successful in building a robust network of citizen-centric services such as online payments. Digital India has given every citizen a market. Even the smallest street vendor is using the facility of UPI. “Earlier, the cost of 1GB of data was around ₹ 300, today, the same is around ₹ 10. With developments in technology & telecom, India will lead the Industry 4.0 revolution. This is not the decade of India, but the century of India,” he added.
Mr Modi said he was happy that school children from rural parts of India were part of the 5G rollout. “I have felt how new technologies are changing the meaning of education for these students. Students are interacting with eminent scientists from their classroom, it is an exciting experience.”
The prime minister also urged the telecom operators to spread the use of the new technology to wider spectrum. “This technology shouldn’t be limited to just voice calls or watching videos. This should be used to bring about a revolution,” he said adding that in the near future the country would work on technologies that would make India a global leader.