Moving towards Digital India
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has released consultation paper of National Telecom Policy 2018. The upcoming policy seeks an investment of more than USD 100 billion in next few years with an eye on rural consumers. The policy aims towards India being among the top digital nations around the world. With an effective spread of 4G services across most villages, India has improved its telecom connectivity ranking. With the lowest tariffs in the world, India has more than 340 million internet subscribers in the world. It is estimated that a 10% increase in broadband penetration would result in the increase of GDP by 2.4%.
National Telecom Policy 2018 will be governed by the key guiding principle of alignment with the national vision. Its major themes will be regulatory and licensing frameworks impacting the telecom sector, connectivity-for-all, quality of services, ease of doing business, and absorption of new technologies including 5G and Internet of Things (IoT).
The policy has, “common strategies to leapfrog India amongst top-50 nations in international rankings in terms of network readiness, communications systems and services, to attract an investment of $100 billion in the telecommunication sector, and to attain an average speed of 20 Mbps for wireless and 50 Mbps for wireline internet connectivity.”
Moving towards data abundance by disruption
The mission is to provide state-of-art communication technology to individual and enterprises at affordable rates. Telecom Policy 2018 aims for affordable and un-interrupted low latency to all subscribers. Under the Make in India initiative, telecom industry should develop home-grown platforms and seek self-sufficiency in telecom equipment manufacturing.
With BharatNet, all gram-panchayats in India would get 1Gbps connections. All people in India should get minimum 2Mbps connectivity at all times. Urban areas may have minimum wireless speeds of 20mbps and wireline speeds of 50mbps. With the partnership with telecom service providers and government agencies, the policy aims to have 10 million ‘free’ public Wi-Fi hotspots. The island of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep to have high-speed internet by laying submarine internet cables.
“To establish India as a global hub for internet and data communication systems and services in a net-neutral environment. To aim for self-sufficiency in telecom equipment manufacturing,” the consultation paper said. It has the objective to increase rural teledensity to 100 percent. “To leapfrog India amongst top-50 nations in international rankings in terms of network readiness, communications systems, and services.” – TRAI spokesperson.