Voice&Data conference focuses on shaping the future of connectivity beyond 5G

The conference delved into the changing technology landscape triggered by 5G, its challenges, sustainability aspects.

VoicenData Bureau
New Update
TLF Coverage

The conference delved into the changing technology landscape triggered by 5G, its challenges, sustainability aspects, and the potential of the upcoming 6G era.


The panel discussion provided invaluable insights into the complexities of evolving communication standards in a dynamic and ever-changing technological landscape.

The 5th edition of the Telecom Leadership Forum (TLF), organised by the leading communication magazine Voice&Data, set the stage for a transformative discussion on the future of connectivity beyond 5G. The Voice&Data 5G+ Conference, held on September 15, 2023, at the prestigious ITC Maurya in New Delhi, brought together industry leaders, domain experts, policymakers, technologists, and academia to explore the dynamic developments in communication and connectivity.

The conference was powered by HPE and PC Solutions, and supported by Jio, Vodafone Idea, AT&T Business, Niral Networks, Academia Partner Apeejay Education, and Media Partner Dataquest. It is also supported by ACTO, Broadband India Forum, COAI, CMAI, Digital Infrastructure Providers Association, Indian Cellular Association, Indian Space Association, TEMA, Telecom Sector Skill Council of India, and Satcom Industry Association.


Exploring the 5G and 6G Landscape

The conference delved into the changing technology landscape triggered by 5G, its challenges, sustainability aspects, and the potential of the upcoming 6G era. Attendees gained valuable insights into India's role in shaping 6G standards, driven by India's 6G Vision Document, and its journey towards becoming a global manufacturing base for 5G and 6G equipment and hardware.

The event commenced with the ceremonial lamp lighting, symbolising the illumination of knowledge and innovation. This was followed by an insightful inaugural session featuring distinguished speakers. Setting up the tone, Prashant Singhal, Emerging Market Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Telecommunications Leader at EY, delivered an opening note on the impact of 5G in India and key enablers. He also highlighted the key trends and sectors that could benefit the most from the changing technologies.


This was followed by special addresses by T.V. Ramachandran, President of Broadband India Forum; Shyam Prabhakar Mardikar, President – Group CTO Mobility at Reliance Jio; Lt. Gen. Dr. SP Kochar, Director General, COAI; and Dr. Pavan Duggal, Chairman of the International Commission on Cyber Security Law & Advocate at the Supreme Court of Indi.

Ramachandran shared his insight into the impact of 5G on broadcasting, and Mardikar talked about how service providers can tailor connectivity for diverse applications. Lt. Gen. Dr. Kocharexplored the theme of enabling next-generation green networks, while Dr. Duggalprovided insights into the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, and its implications for the 5G-led digital economy.

Earlier in the session, Pradeep Gupta, Chairman of CyberMedia Group, extended a warm welcome to the attendees. He also highlighted the role played by the CyberMedia group during its 40-year journey of chronicling the ICT industry in India.


The 5G+ Agenda

The conference featured engaging panel discussions on topics such as monetising 5G services, creating networks for 5G and beyond, and evolving communication standards. Notable industry figures and experts moderated and participated in these discussions, providing valuable perspectives and insights.

A special address by Prof. Venugopal Achanta, Director of CSIR – National Physical Laboratory, shed light on India's vision of quantum communications, showcasing the country's commitment to cutting-edge research and technology.


In the industry fireside session, industry stalwarts discussed the possibility of India driving global 6G standards, highlighting the nation's potential in shaping the future of connectivity. The speakers included Akhil Gupta, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Manoj Chugh, Chairman – ManojChugh Advisory LLP; and Prof Kiran Kumar Kuchi of IIT – Hyderabad. It was moderated by CyberMedia Chairman Gupta.

Monetising 5G Services in India

Moderated by former KPMG Partner and industry veteran Jaideep Ghosh, speakers at the panel discussion on Monetising 5G Services: Business Models, Value-added Services, and Revenue Streams shared their insight into the numerous opportunities and challenges ushered in by 5G and what the industry needs to do to capitalise on these.


The speakers included Himanshu Gupta, Country Manager - Telecom, Media & Entertainment, HPE India; Saurabh Mittal, VP & Head Industry and Technology, Bharti Airtel; Salil Khanna, National Head – Enterprise & Govt Business, Jio; and Rajesh Chharia, President – ISPAI. They also explored how businesses can create a balance between innovation, regulation, customer satisfaction, and emerging trends in the context of monetising 5G services and strategies.

The Next-gen Infrastructure

Speakers at the thought-provoking panel discussion on Creating Networks for 5G and Beyonddeliberate on the evolving networks and digital infrastructure and how it will be driving the future of connectivity. The session delved into the challenges and opportunities in building robust networks and evolving satellite-based communication to support emerging technologies, including 5G and beyond.


Participants also discussed the hurdles in fibreisation in India, explored various technology options, and emphasised the need for stakeholder collaboration to accelerate fibre deployment and bridge the digital divide. The session was moderated by Amitabh Singhal, Director - Telxess Consulting Services and founder/Former CEO, National Internet Exchange of India. The speakers included Kapil Malhotra, Head of Customer Engineering, Google; P. Balaji, Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea; Tilak Raj Dua, Director General, DIPA; and Lt. Gen. A. K. Bhatt (Retd), Director General, ISpA

The discussion also addressed the importance of effective collaboration between network providers, governments, and technology companies to overcome challenges and ensure a seamless transition to advanced network technologies, emphasising best practices.

The 4th Industrial Revolution

A major impact of 5G+ technologies is their ability to transform businesses and drive Industry 4.0 across sectors. The session moderated by Ibrahim Ahmad, Consulting Group Editor, CyberMediadelved into the convergence of Industry 4.0 and 5G, uncovering the immense potential for revolutionising smart manufacturing and automation processes.

The panel discussion on Industry 4.0: Leveraging 5G+ for Smart Manufacturing and Automation provided a deep dive into the transformative potential of 5G+ in the realm of smart manufacturing and automation. It underscored the pivotal role that advanced communication standards and networks play in driving intelligent factories and streamlining automation processes. The session also highlighted that the country needs to strengthen the device ecosystem to reap the benefits of the evolving technologies, especially 5G.

The speakers in the session included Shridhar Krish, Executive Director & COO, TikonaInfinet; Dharmender Khajuria, Head- Network Partnerships, Bharti Airtel; Vivek Roy, Head – Digital Connectivity & Power, Digital Industries, Siemens Limited; Purushottam Konar, Director and Head, Product Solution and Engineering (IOT and 5G), Wipro Limited; and Bhanu Pratap – Head of Sales, Niral Networks.

As India positions itself at the forefront of Industry 4.0 and 5G, the insights shared during this discussion are poised to shape the future of manufacturing in the country, fostering innovation and competitiveness.

Defining the Communication Standards

Led by Prasanto K Roy, Managing Director, FTI Consulting and former Group Editor of CyberMedia, the session on Frameworks and Imperatives for Evolving Communication Standardsfocused on the critical aspects of updating and adapting communication standards in today's rapidly evolving technological landscape.

The speakers included Lt. Col. Dr. Sidharth Shukla, Ex Jt. Advisor – QoS, TRAI; Anjali Hans, SVP – Public Policy, Vodafone Idea; Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council; Prof. N. K. Goyal, President, CMAI Association of India & Chairman Emeritus, TEMA; and Cdr. Aditya Varma, VP – Defence Consulting, RAH Infotech.

The panelists stressed the necessity for communication standards frameworks to remain adaptable to keep pace with rapid technological advancements, ensuring that they continue to meet the evolving needs of the digital age. They also explored strategies and technologies aimed at achieving seamless communication across diverse platforms, devices, and networks while prioritising security and privacy.

Addressing the growing cybersecurity threats, experts emphasised the key imperatives for integrating robust cybersecurity measures into evolving communication standards to counteract emerging cyber risks effectively. The panel examined how regulatory bodies can strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring compliance with evolving communication norms, highlighting the importance of regulatory frameworks that encourage both.

The discussion also underlined the pivotal role of international collaboration in developing cross-border communication standards that facilitate global connectivity and information exchange, emphasising the need for global cooperation in setting future communication norms, particularly the forthcoming 6G standards.

The panel discussion provided invaluable insights into the complexities of evolving communication standards in a dynamic and ever-changing technological landscape. It underscored the need for flexible frameworks, interoperability, cybersecurity, regulatory balance, and international collaboration in shaping the future of communication norms. These insights hold immense significance in ensuring that communication standards remain robust, secure, and adaptable to meet the evolving needs of a digital society.

Anticipating the Future

The Voice&Data 5G+ Conference 2023 acted as a convergence point for over 200 technology and business decision-makers, spanning telecommunications, enterprises, startups, academia, and the influencer community. It provided a platform for attendees to gain insights into the ever-evolving communication and connectivity space, emphasising the technologies that are shaping the future of communication.

As India continues its journey into the 5G era and beyond, the conference served as a vital catalyst for discussions, collaborations, and innovations that will play a pivotal role in the nation's technological landscape.

Voice&Data Magazine remains committed to fostering discussions and insights that contribute to India's progress in the realm of communication and connectivity. The successful Voice&Data 5G+ Conference 2023 marked another milestone in this endeavor.