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IMC 2023: India Will Lead in 6G, says PM Narendra Modi The IMC agenda has swiftly adapted to the forefront of digital innovation, showcasing India's proactive approach to adopting emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT)

By Shrabona Ghosh

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One year after launching the official 5G services in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the stage at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 to reflect on the Centre's goal to make technology accessible to all. This year, the theme of IMC is 'Global Digital Innovation. The IMC agenda has swiftly adapted to the forefront of digital innovation, showcasing India's proactive approach to adopting emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest iteration of cellular technology, designed to increase the speed of wireless networks.

"Today, with the fast evolving technology the future is here and now. India has the fastest 5G roll out and we are not stopping with that, as we aim to bring 5G to every household. In this one year, 4 lakhs 5G base stations have been established and around 80 per cent population is covered. Mobile Broadband speed has increased three times in these years and we are aiming to be a 6G leader in the world. In this technology boom, startups have an important role to play as India is amongst the top three startup ecosystems globally," said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

India is democratizing technology and telecom is digital India's gateway. "India is being recognized for the fastest 5G roll out with the cheapest data rates, the country is emerging as a developer, exporter, leader in telecom," said Ashwini Vaishnaw, minister for communications, electronics & information technology and railways.

India's digital public infrastructure has been globally lauded, reflecting a similar sentiment, Akash Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio, said, "Reliance Jio is deploying 5G cell every 10 seconds. As much as 85 per cent 5G rollout in the country has been covered by us. We are delivering this with a fully developed in-house stac, Jio aims to exclude the digital divide in India and aims to make India the Broadband capital of the world."

Digital India vision and Make in India, are the two pillars of IMC. "If we give tools in the hands of citizens, we can leap boundaries. India is emerging as a digital leader and is establishing itself as a manufacturing hub. Working on this vision, Airtel has already covered 5,000 towns, and 20,000 villages with 5G. As committed, by March 2024, we will cover the entire country," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairperson of Bharti Enterprises.

Taking a significant stride forward in the field of telecommunications, India has acquired over 200 patents for 6G technology. The announcement was made during the launch of the Bharat 6G Alliance in New Delhi. The Department of Telecommunications constituted a Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G) on 1st November 2021 with members from various ministries/departments, research and development institutions, academia, standardization bodies, telecom service providers and industry to develop vision, mission and goals for the 6G and also develop a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India.

'Self-reliance in cybersecurity a necessity'

PM Modi also touched upon the topic of cybersecurity at the summit He said that the global threat of cybersecutiry was discussed even during G20 meeting in India, and emphasised self-reliance (Atmanirbharta) in enhancing cybersecurity and safeguarding network infrastructure. "Whether it is software, hardware or connectivity. If our entire value chain is in the Indian domain, it would be easier to keep it safe," said PM Modi.

'India a thought leadership in digital payments'

Acknowledging India's potential for thought leadership, PM Modi said that India has already demonstrated thought leadership in digital payments through UPI and initiatives like CoWIN. "Besides being an excellent technology adopter and implementer, we have to be technology thought leader as well. India possess the advantage of young demography, and vibrant democracy,"said PM Modi.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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