” I am supremely confident that India will not only succeed in containing any future wave of COVID, but also stage a rapid economic comeback that will astonish the world,” said Ambani at the India Mobile Congress on Wednesday. Detailing the role of telecom and technology, chairman of India’s largest telco, Jio, said, “During COVID, when the chips were down, it is the chipsets that kept us going”.
RIL chairman’s said that affordability will also be key to increase customer base. “We should not lose sight of the fact that affordability has been a critical driver of the phenomenally rapid expansion of the mobile subscriber base in India. India should move towards greater digital inclusion, and not greater digital exclusion,” said Ambani.
Reliance Jio which is a 4G only platform and betting on 5G said that continuing with 2G solutions was depriving millions of people of better connectivity. ” To keep millions of Indians at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid confined to 2G is to deprive them of the benefits of the digital revolution,” said Ambani. His rivals Airtel and Vi still offer 2G services although they are migrating towards 4G as well.
Jio reiterated that it is poised to bring in 5G technology and become a global vendor. ” “We have developed a 100% home-grown and comprehensive 5G solution which is fully cloud native and digitally managed… Jio’s network could be quickly and seamlessly upgraded from 4G to 5G,” Ambani added.
The telco which in partnership with Google rolled out an affordable smartphone -JioPhone Next stressed on the importance of cheaper devices to bring in digital inclusion. ” The best way of ensuring comprehensive affordability is nimble adoption of futuristic technologies and supportive policy tools like use of the USO fund for purposes other than services. USO fund can be used to subsidise devices to select target groups,” said Ambani.
The telco said it has reached out to 5 million homes via fibre and more needs to be done to improve connectivity. Ambani highlighted that policies have pushed startups to create platforms in the digital space.
“The Government is putting in place a sound regulatory and policy framework for this. This has helped thousands of young Indian entrepreneurs and start-ups create platforms, applications and solutions that can accelerate India’s digital transformation,” he added.