Ex­pand­ing its REACH

The New Tele­com Pol­icy 2018, ex­pected in near fu­ture will en­sure qual­ity ser­vices at af­ford­able rates. The pol­icy aims to ad­dress the cur­rent chal­lenges like call drops, giv­ing in­ter­net ac­cess to masses and a boost to tele­com man­u­fac­tur­ing, among oth­ers.

Assocham Bulletin - - TECHNOLOGY -

While ad­dress­ing the ASSOCHAM's 10th Tele­com Sum­mit on Au­gust 2, 2017, Ms. Aruna Sun­darara­jan, Chair­per­son, Tele­com Com­mis­sion and Sec­re­tary, De­part­ment of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions said that In­dia is not just fol­low­ing but set­ting best prac­tices in many ar­eas in terms of New Tele­com Pol­icy 2018.

"I think as we go in to the New Tele­com Pol­icy, we must re­mem­ber, it is a part of a much larger vi­sion that the PMand the gov­ern­ment have ar­tic­u­lated for In­dia be­cause In­dia is at­tempt­ing to do noth­ing short of chart­ing a new dig­i­tal strat­egy for growth," said Ms. Sun­darara­jan.

She also said that NTP is go­ing to be a key build­ing block in achiev­ing the vi­sion to grow at about 10per cent from cur­rent rate of about 7.6 per cent.

She fur­ther said that while tele­com which con­trib­utes about 6.5 per cent to the GDP (Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct) is a huge mar­ket which is still tremen­dously un­der-pen­e­trated and there is in­deed scope to go up sig­nif­i­cantly.

"But if we look at the larger dig­i­tal pie as part of In­dia's GDP, to­day Dig­i­tal In­dia con­trib­utes about 16.5 per cent to the GDP, which is ab­so­lutely not triv­ial from any per­spec­tive and it is ex­pected that this may go up to 25 per cent," she said.

Talk­ing about the tril­lion dol­lar dig­i­tal econ­omy, she said that it is al­most 25 per cent of In­dia's GDP which we are hop­ing will be en­abled di­rectly by these two sec­tors - tele­com and IT.

"Of the two, tele­com is the un­der­ly­ing plat­form on which dig­i­tal growth can hap­pen, so it is ex­tremely im­por­tant to get the pol­icy on this ab­so­lutely right" said Ms. Sun­darara­jan.

She also said that pro­vid­ing af­ford­able and qual­ity in­ter­net and broad­band for all must be the vi­sion, so that ev­ery In­dia is en­abled to join the eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and so­cial main­stream.

Thus it is im­por­tant to en­sure that the req­ui­site in­vest­ments flow in the tele­com sec­tor over next 10-15 years. For this she said it is also im­per­a­tive to en­sure a vi­able rate of re­turn for in­dus­try, progress to­wards har­ness­ing new tech­nolo­gies, spur in­no­va­tion, build deep com­pe­ten­cies, and ac­cel­er­ate do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing and ro­bust cy­ber se­cu­rity.

Hail­ing the very pro­gres­sive and sub­stan­tive re­forms ush­ered in by the present gov­ern­ment in the tele­com sec­tor over the last three years, she said "For the first time In­dia now has spec­trum avail­able, so that op­er­a­tors are able to step up ser­vice and cov­er­age, there have been whole lot of ini­tia­tives around ease of do­ing busi­ness, trad­ing, spec­trum har­mon­i­sa­tion, a num­ber of mea­sures have been taken, on BharatNet there has been very sub­stan­tive progress, we have al­ready reached op­tic fi­bre to one lakh Gram Pan­chay­ats and by the end of the year we hope that these Gram Pan­chay­ats will ac­tu­ally start de­liv­er­ing ser­vices and be lit."

Ad­ding that on all these fronts, there has been good progress, Ms Sun­darara­jan said, "We see the new NTP as part of con­tin­u­ing ease of do­ing busi­ness, of build­ing a Dig­i­tal In­dia to­wards achiev­ing the larger vi­sion of a pros­per­ous In­dia."

In his ad­dress, Mr. Manoj Sinha, Hon'ble Min­is­ter of State C), Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said, "In­dia has one of the fastest grow­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions sec­tor with over 1.1 bil­lion con­nec­tions. It is the sec­ond largest in the world while con­tin­u­ing to grow at a com­pound an­nual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6 per­cent from FY'07-17. Driven by an ex­po­nen­tial surge in data con­sump­tion in the re­cent few years, In­dia ranks among top five coun­tries across the world in the high­est in­ter­net users. The In­dian Tele­com Mar­ket is ex­pected to cross the INR 6.6 tril­lion rev­enue mark by the year 2020".

The achieve­ments of the gov­ern­ment in the last three years have been phe­nom­e­nal. The gov­ern­ment is cater­ing to all sec­tions of the so­ci­ety, be it pro-poor schemes like "Prad­han Mantri J an Dhan Yo­jana", which is the world's largest fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion pro­gramme, Mu­dra Bank, Hous­ing for all, or pro-youth as My Gov on­line, Make in In­dia, Dig­i­tal In­dia, or pro-de­vel­op­ment as Smart City pro­gram, Na­tional Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Mis­sion Skill De­vel­op­ment etc. NTP 2018 is also a step in this direction.

"But if we look at the larger dig­i­tal pie as part of In­dia's GDp, to­day Dig­i­tal In­dia con­trib­utes about 16.5 per cent to the GDp, which is ab­so­lutely not triv­ial from any per­spec­tive and it is ex­pected that this may go up to 25 per cent,"

Mr. Manoj Sinha, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Ms with Mr. D. S. Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, ASSOCHAI Na­tional Coun­cil on Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions & Con­verge Prakash Sawh­ney, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Elec­tron­ics Tele­com Com­mis­sion & Sec­re­tary (T), De­part­ment ol>/e ASSOCHAM Na­tional Coun­cil on Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tior& Na­tional Head, Strat­egy and Mar­kets, Leader - Tech' Dr. Mani Man­i­mo­han, Se­nior Di­rec­tor, Pub­lic Pol­icy, 5 Chair­per­son, Tele­com Com­mis­sion & Sec­re­tary (T), fAa Sharma, Chair­man, TRAI Mr. P Balaji, Chair­man, AS.C Con­ver­gence, Mr. Mritun­jay Ka­pur, Part­ner and Nsn; Me­dia and Tele­com, KPMG in In­dia.

Mr. R. S. Sharma, Chair­man, TRAI in dis­cus­sion with the In­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

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