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IMC Day 2 focuses on evolving technology landscape; telecom leaders discuss the way forward

September 28, 2017


Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Government of India delivered the keynote address at Day 2 of India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2017. While addressing the gathering he highlighted the need for collaboration amongst various sectors to ensure connectivity to all citizens. He stated that strategic collaborations between telecom and railways sector will be key to enhance customer experiences. To this end, RailTel has been instrumental in establishing telecom infrastructure for driving digital growth in the country particularly in rural areas. ISRO chairman, A S Kiran Kumar also addressed the gathering highlighting the role of satellite communication for connectivity. The sessions during the day focused on the evolving technology landscape and related opportunities and challenges. Top industry leaders representing operator, infrastructure and vendor communities came together to discuss on topics such as 5G, cybersecurtity, internet of everything (IoE), digital convergence, cloud, virtualisation, role of regulations, preparing for a digital economy etc.

Here is a look at who said what at Day 2 of IMC, 2017

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Government of India: “Connectivity will take India to the next level of growth”. He added that telecom and railways have to collaborate to offer new standards of service to our customers. “We are working with Google to bring Wi-Fi connectivity to 400 railway stations across India. RailTel is looking at ways to help rural India avail benefits of digital age.”

AS Kiran Kumar, ISRO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space: Enabling technology has moved very fast in the recent past. “Today, for example, real time signal availability is possible due to advances in lower orbiting satellites.”, he added.

RS Sharma, Chairman, TRAI: “The key component of Digital India initiative is providing broadband as a utility to every citizen.” He further added that Aadhar has now become the great enabler of every digital transaction in the country. It is unique, available online and authenticable.

Nunzio Mirtillo SVP & Head of Market Area: "Video is the new voice for the youth of India". He also emphasised on co-existence of technologies, saying that, “While 4G is happening and we are moving towards 5G; 2G and 3G are still working.” 5G will stretch and expand the explosion of data and more connectivity, he added.

Akhil Gupta, Vice Chairman, Bharti Group: He stated that there is a need for rapid roll-out of data networks and provision of services at affordable rates. “Building of digital infrastructure is crucial for achieving the vision of Digital India, he added. To this end, an investment of around $20 billion in network infrastructure is required in the next 2 years. “Digital India is simply about giving Internet access to every citizen of the country. We still have a long way to go in providing ubiquitous internet access.”, he added

Umang Das, chief mentor ATC India: While moderating a session on Digital Infrastructure towards a $4 trillion digital economy. “The way forward for transforming the society into a digitally empowered economy lies in laying the bedrock of a stable and digital broadband infrastructure.”

Sunil Sood, CEO & MD: “Vodafone is the largest IoT player in Europe with 60 million IoT SIM cards. We are bringing the same IoT solutions to India”. He also added that India needs to have an all pervasive connectivity layer, and there should be a duct with every road to achieve this.

Bimal Dayal: “5G with its scale and enabling potential would take IoT to a whole new level”.

Sanjay Kamat, MD, Consulting Practice Research, Nokia Bell Labs: “Interconnection and interdependence of new systems can transform economy and society.” He further added that the next era of AI is not artificial intelligence but augmented intelligence.

Larry Paulson, VP and President, Qualcomm India: “We need to connect the next billion digitally.” He said that a strong 4G baseline is required for a smooth transition to 5G technology. He further added that the big companies are good at executing but the ideas of innovation come from small companies.

Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei: “Pre-commercial deployment of 5G would happen in 2019 in India and mass deployment is expected to start only in 2020”

Christian Hedelin, Head BA Networks, Ericsson: He stated that 5G use cases will go beyond mobile broadband, and massive IoT will enable varied sectors. He further added that, device ecosystem, network capability and performance innovation are three pillars of enabling 5G. Talking about 5G promise for India, he said “5G will result in lower cost per gigabyte of data which is great for a country like India”.

Ashwini Rana, Head of Connectivity Policy, India, South and Central Asia, Facebook: “We need permission-less innovation”. He stressed on the need of innovation based businesses. He further added that while discriminatory pricing is not acceptable, differential pricing should be made acceptable.

P Balaji, Director Regulatory, External Affairs and CSR, Vodafone India: He said that addressing ever growing issues of data security and privacy will make investor sentiment in the telecom sector bullish.

Rajat Mukarji, Chief Corporate Affairs Office, Idea Cellular: “The level of regulation needs to be taken into account.” He added that innovation is difficult in an environment of heavy handed regulation. Investors in medium and long run require consistency of policy as they seek return on their investments.


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