By Bimal Dayal
CEO, Indus Towers
Digital means empowerment, by giving power to the masses. Digital infrastructure and services are fast emerging as the key enablers and critical determinants of India’s growth and well-being. With significantly advanced capabilities in both telecommunications and software, India, more than most countries, stands poised to benefit from harnessing the new digital technologies and platforms and ensuring access to next generation services for its citizens.
Digital can be all pervasive provided it is affordable. The government has taken proactive steps to build the IoT capabilities in India and facilitate the development of ecosystem in various possible ways. India’s digital profile and footprint is one of the fastest growing in the world. With over a billion mobile phones and digital identities and half a billion internet users, India’s mobile data consumption is already the highest in the world. The proposed in-flight connectivity (IFC) services are also expected to operationalise in next one year.
Having said that, digital infrastructure plays a major role in making digital all pervasive, simple and accessible. The government’s Digital India initiative is also aimed at bridging the digital divide by providing access to digital platform to the masses provided the technology’s current paradigm becomes affordable, easy access to all, thus bringing about the digital inclusion in the country.
Indus Towers in sync with the government is also playing a major role for entailing digital network in India. With successful collaboration with NDMC in Delhi and VMC in Vadodara, Indus Towers has deployed 50 Smart Poles in each of the cities to provide capex efficiency significantly by enabling a platform which will support to host multiple technologies like Wi-Fi/2G/3G/4G/RF/NextGen.
THE KEY DIGITAL DRIVERS
Digitisation has become a core focus area for various sectors including the telecom industry where digital adoption is fast engulfing our lives and users are consuming more of it. In the last few years there has been a rapid growth in the usage of smartphones, each consuming content and transacting digitally. This created immense opportunities across the lives of those individuals and impact nearly all the industries.
Policy enablement is one of the key digital drivers. Another foremost enabler for digitisation are telecom infrastructure enablers such as Indus Towers who enable the infrastructure for a Digital India to be rolled out and create a better infrastructure and a digital ecosystem to offer quality customer experience and a better network connectivity. Infrastructure enablers are changing markets all around us and are leveraging the power of technology to drive customer expectations to new heights. The telecom companies also play a major role in order to make their customers more digitally abled and providing them with a complete ecosystem of services which is affordable for uptake by the masses.
Masses are also adopting the changes with digital transformation. Today young employees are bringing to their jobs new expectations for work styles and workplaces. These expectations, along with a corporate emphasis on creating a culture of collaboration, are changing how work gets done. If you’re building a future-ready business, it’s important that people are encouraged to have the right digital education to make IT skills more important every day. Another important key digital driver is technology obsolescence. Whatever technology and applications are being rolled out at the moment need to be upped all the time.
With 5G coming in, the role of telecom infrastructure providers will be even more critical. The evolution of 2G, 3G and now 4G has evolved the mobile generation network. The government’s low-cost initiatives in digital technology such Aadhaar, Swachh Bharat Mission and WiFi Hotspots are also paving way to a strong digital ecosystem. Digital Infrastructure have also created new opportunities for digital training to bridge the divide.
As part of the National Digital Literacy Mission, Indus Towers have also empowered and improved the quality of life of the citizens in Gujarat by unveiling a Digital Transformation Van (DTV) last year in Vadodara to promote digital literacy in rural areas and contribute towards making Vadodara as the knowledge hub of Gujarat.
Over the last couple of years, IoT has moved from being a mere buzzword to a technology readily available to companies. Most companies in the manufacturing space which had traditionally invested in the new world of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication era and sophisticated control systems have also taken the logical step of investing in IoT technology. As several leading organizations start to move along the curve, a huge spurt in investment is expected in and consumption of this technology.
India is leading the world in digital connectivity, which is bringing over billion minds to work together. The 1.3 billion people of the country can participate in data driven fourth industrial revolution and solve biggest problems that humanity faces. With 63 per cent of the tech savvy population who are aged below 35, India has a chance of not just participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but also leading it. 4.0 Industrial Revolution focussing on emerging technologies like AI, IoT, ML, Big Data, Blockchain can bring many big opportunities in India. These technologies have also improved factory production since then. With automated manufacturing sweeping in, there has been a growth in advanced tasks that are more efficient and accessible.
All this is possible only through digital connectivity that plays as important role for bringing large scale technological transformations.
The telecom infrastructure companies can play a major role in the eventual success of ‘Digital India’. A well-orchestrated collaboration between the Government, policy makers, mobile network operators, and telecom infrastructure companies is crucial to the success of this venture.
The digital divide is the gulf that exists between those who have ready access to the Internet and those who do not. The digital inclusion helps advance quality of life, economic opportunity and social interaction. Hence, it is pivotal for technology to be simple and affordable to have a strong and sound digital economy. This will allow for greater synergy in infrastructure building and interconnectivity and have a catalytic effect on the telecom infrastructure. There is also a need to eliminate conflicts rather than creating them. The technology used today needs to be recent and should keep in line with the principle of nature like free of fossil fuels. There is enormous thrust by the government on sustainability through its numerous schemes. Indus Towers is already doing its bit in this area. In line with our business strategies and the aim of driving our Zero Diesel goal, we are green innovation models which are highly scalable to maintain 24×7 energy availability at the tower site. We are continually scaling up our existing Green Site initiatives and supplementing this with a host of new and innovative solutions with a vision to eventually make Indus sites diesel free.