New Delhi (Sputnik): India on Friday, completed its silver jubilee in mobile telephony. To date, the transformation from landline connections to mobile phones has been an ever rising upward curve – with India currently the world’s second largest smartphone market, behind China.
Top tycoon Mukesh Ambani has emphasised the need to consign India’s 2G internet chapter to history.
Ambani made his comments while addressing India’s Federal Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a session called “Desh ki Digital Udaan”.
“India still has 300 million mobile subscribers trapped in the 2G era. Their feature phones keep them excluded, even from the basic uses of internet at a time where both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony. I think necessary policy steps should be taken with utmost urgency to make 2G a part of history,” said Ambani, the world’s fifth richest person and head of India’s biggest telecom brand Reliance Jio.
Comments of Sh Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, at a celebration of 25 Years Of Mobility – Desh Ki Digital Udaan.#MukeshAmbaniSpeaks#DeshKiDigitalUdaan pic.twitter.com/Qj9xorZ8xz
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On one hand, tech savvy Indians are expected to collectively invest a whopping $45.7 billion in smart consumer electronics in 2020 alone. On the other hand, rural Indians are still using feature phones. Many of these simple devices do not support the internet and are only good to facilitate messaging and calling services.
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The 63-year-old industrialist has been aggressively spreading telecoms networks across India’s vast landscape. His telecom brand Jio, which currently has 387.5 million users in the country, launched in 2015 when, in a bid to capture the market, it allowed users to access high speed internet free of cost for the first three months.
While acknowledging the long way India’s mobile services have come in the last 25 years, the billionaire highlighted that for the country to witness more “breathtaking” changes in mobile telephony, everybody needs to work together.
Ambani credited the new-age “multitasking computing tools” – smartphones powered by the world’s cheapest data plans, for bringing about key changes in India’s way of doing business.
India offers the cheapest internet plans in the world with costs per gigabyte (GB) of data costing as low as $0.90 (INR 67 approx.)
India’s 5G trials that were scheduled to be held in the beginning of 2020, have been postponed by at least a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
India is currently fueled by 4G internet, which is used by 560 million people making India the second largest online market in the world, according to statistics platform Statista.