Digital India to Push India at the Cusp of Positive Change

During the recently concluded Voice&Data’s 17th annual meeting of the telecom ecosystem on 14th December, 2017, a lot of deliberations took place around Digital Telecom and how it is becoming the backbone for Digital India.

Today, the telecom industry is recognized as the backbone of the country in many ways and is going to play a key role in the coming years. There is a lot of pressure on this sector due to the promises made by the government and the regulators. There are changing demands and users expectation due to Digital India initiatives taken by the government.

The forum helped various stakeholders to come together and voice their views, opinions and concerns. Most of the experts rested faith in India’s capability in taking leaps and surpassing the global trends.

India did not go the wireline telephony way and straightway adopted mobile revolution. The industry believes that India is at the cusp of positive change with initiatives such as Digital India and cashless push after note-ban. This is yet again an opportunity for India to take the lead in the most comprehensive manner to ensure that the players in this industry help for the betterment of the people and the country as a whole. It is not the emerging market problem in particular but the emerging market must become healthy in term of telecom. Potential of telecom industry in India is truly mind boggling.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director & Chief Executive, ICRIER : said it’s not the liberalization of telecom sector itself which is important but deployment of the sector which is important as it is the enabler for other sectors. Telecom has created businesses for other sectors. We built an independent institutional framework in the telecom sector. We now need a regulator independent from the government, telecom operator and the industry.
“India is a mobile first country and telecom sector is going to create new job opportunities in the country as it is the third largest country for start-ups”, he further added.

Telecom in India has an important role to play when we talk about Smart India. PK Roy, Head-Domestic & Internet Council, NASSCOM, talked about the issues the industry faces with regard to old governance and policies.
According to Ashutosh Vasant, CMD, Railtel India, Government of India, owns the world’s biggest public Wi-Fi networks. “We are creating 7,000 hotspots at the 7,000 railway stations, known as railway saathi.”

“All cash transactions at railways stations must end, one must be able to pay for a water of bottle with one’s mobile phone. We want to bring transparency and accountability with government,” he added.

Sridhar Krish, COO, Trikona , Broadband emphasized on what we need for smart cities. He said that we first need to understand what we mean by smart city, what is the goal and what infrastructure we require for the same.

Some of the eminent speakers at the event were RS Sharma,Chairman, TRAI, Aruna Sundararajan, Secy, DoT, Himanshu Kapania, MD,Idea Cellular, Sanjay Kaul, MD,GSP Cisco India & SAARC, Dr. Pravin Bhagwat, Co-Founder & CTO, Mojo Networks, Vishant Vohra, CTO, Vodafone, Sameer Dave, CTO, Aircel, Abhay Savargaonkar, CTO, Airtel, Nitin Bansal, MD, Ericsson India, Kapil Ahuja,CEO(North India) Reliance Jio, Dr. Jai Menon, Group CTO & Mentor, HT Media, Deval Parikh, CEO, Brightstar- India, , Ankit Agarwal, Director- Telecom Products, Sterlite Technologies, Shyam Mardikar, CTO, Airtel, Dr. Anand Agarwal, CEO, Sterlite,Lt.Gen SP Kocchar,CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council, Srikanth Balachandran, Global CHRO, Airtel.

The event had CISCO as a Presenting partner, SterliteTech and Ericsson as Platinum partner, Mojo as a Gold Partner, BSNL as Telecom Partner, Railtel as Associate partner, Telecom Sector Skill Council, COAI, CMAI as Supporting partners and ETNOW as Tv Partner.

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